In an earlier blog, I looked at what information must be included in a Declaration of Compliance. One of the requirements in relation to Regulation 10/2011 is the specification on the use of the belt. This states for how long and at what temperature the belt material can be in contact with food. I regularly receive questions about the strictness of this regulation and if the permitted contact time can fluctuate based on other factors. For example, must product be destroyed if it has been in contact with the conveyor belt for longer than the indicated contact time?
The Declarations of Compliance of many of our belt materials state a contact time of 30 minutes at a food temperature of 80°C. Regulation 10/2011 indicates that if the temperature decreases by 10°C, the maximum contact time is doubled. This means that:
- At a temperature of 70°C a maximum contact time of one hour applies
Thus the migration test results remain in force. It also works the other way around, so:
- At a temperature of 90°C, the maximum contact time will be 15 minutes
Declaration of Compliance
The result of this is that products that have been in contact for longer than the indicated time in the Declaration of Conformity will not necessarily have to be destroyed. It all depends on the temperature of the product.
Always check the testing conditions
The longer the permitted contact time, the more application options the belt can offer. For example, Habasit’s Premium TPU food belts permit longer contact times than standard food belts. Since Regulation 10/2011 states that contact times can vary depending on temperature, when comparing different belts, it’s essential to note the exact testing conditions given on the Declaration of Compliance (and remember that not all manufacturers test at the same temperature). Here’s an example:
- Testing time for 2 hours at 70°C permits contact time at 100°C of 15 minutes
- Testing time for 30 minutes at 110°C permits contact time at 100°C of one hour
Product data sheets
Some engineers have noticed that the maximum permitted temperature stated in the product data sheet differs from the temperature on the Declaration of Compliance. Why is this? Very simply: for food applications, the Declaration of Compliance must be followed. The temperature stated on the product data sheet refers to the technically allowed temperature, e.g. the temperature that joining can withstand.
Do you have any questions about a food belt’s contact time or a specific Declaration of Compliance? Feel free to contact me at any time. I’ll be glad to help you.
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