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Bryan Ex May 15th, 2016 10:23 PM

Food Grade Plastic
Ontario recently introduced the new grading system along with some other added regulations. One of the new regs is that everything that contacts your sap or syrup must be food grade. This seems like common sense but there are still a lot of TSC stock tanks and sump pumps out there these days. One of the issues that has come up at various maple workshops is the question of food grade plastic. Seems many folks think that being labeled HDPE 2 makes something food grade which is incorrect. HDPE 2 is simply a recycling code denoting the type of plastic used. While most food grade plastics are made with HDPE 2 it does not necessarily mean it is food grade just because it is HDPE 2 plastic. A food grade plastic pail will be clearly marked as food grade or have the international wine glass and fork symbol on it. If it is not marked as such it is not food grade and not suitable for use in maple production.

You can buy 2 different 5 gallon plastic pails at Home Depot in the paint department. They are the same size and look almost identical. One is a couple dollars more than the other but labelled as food grade while the cheaper one is not. What is the difference other than price? When they mold the pails a releasing agent is used that allows the pail to slide off the mold without sticking. This chemical is transferred to the plastic pail and is not safe for human consumption. Dyes and other colouring will also leach from a pail unless specifically developed not to. Now add your sap to the pail and then concentrate 40 times over and you are contaminating your syrup with some pretty nasty stuff. Most of us know this information already but I wanted to get it online so I could link to it whenever this discussion comes up.

sugarbush ridge May 17th, 2016 07:45 PM

Now correct me if I'm wrong. "Food Grade" HDPE 2 is virgin plastic,,, never used for any thing yet. The HDPE 2 not labeled 'Food Grade' is recycled HDPE 2,,,, not knowing what the container night have had in it before,,,,,,,,, and there could be traces of what had been in the container the first time or fifth time.

Bryan Ex May 18th, 2016 06:47 PM


Originally Posted by sugarbush ridge (Post 62206)
The HDPE 2 not labeled 'Food Grade' is recycled HDPE 2,,,,

HDPE 2 not marked as food grade "could be" recycled but may be brand new as well. Usually plastic will be marked as containing X% recycled plastic if it is recycled. HDPE 2 simply refers to the type of plastic a container or other object is made of which may or may not be food grade depending on how it's manufactured. Anything with any recycled plastic will not be food grade.

Maple Flats May 18th, 2016 08:18 PM

To be labeled food grade it must be both, virgin plastic and must have had a food grade mold releaser. That is the higher cost.

Bryan Ex May 18th, 2016 09:02 PM

You got it Maple Flats. Colouring can also play a part with most food grade stuff being clear or white but colours can be used although at a higher cost yet again. Coffee travel mugs are often lined with black plastic for example.

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