Wire Mesh in the Food and Beverage Industry

At Universal Wire Cloth Co., we make wire mesh for many different industries. Though it sounds like a simple object, it has been used in many ways for all types of customers. Today we are discussing its use in the food and beverage industry, but first, what exactly is wire mesh? 

Wire mesh is a woven or welded metal grid of interconnected wires made from various metals. It is used for multiple purposes, such as filtering, straining, and separating.

Wire mesh is essential in food and beverage processing because it helps maintain the final product’s quality and safety, reduces waste, increases efficiency, and lower production costs. 

Without wire mesh, the food and beverage industry could not produce high-quality products consistently.

Where Do We See Wire Mesh in Food and Beverage?

There are several standard products and applications where you’re likely to find wire mesh being put to use in the food and beverage industry. Here are a few examples:

Frying Foods: We typically see wire mesh baskets and trays used in frying foods such as French fries, chicken tenders, and fish fillets, among others. It can be used for traditional frying with oil or air frying for a healthier alternative.

Baked Goods: Baking sheets or cooling racks made of wire mesh are commonly used for baking and cooling baked goods such as cookies, bread, and pastries. Various sizes mean it can be used in commercial and home baking applications.

Brewing Beer: Wire mesh is used for hop straining, lauter tun screens, fermentation, and filtration in the beer brewing industry. It separates hops from the wort, filters out the grain and other solids, and separates yeast from the beer.

Straining: Colanders are an excellent example of how wire mesh is used daily to strain foods. When washing fruits and vegetables, straining cooked pasta, or boiling vegetables. By using wire mesh colanders, cooks can ensure their food is thoroughly rinsed and drained, resulting in a better-tasting and healthier meal.

Grilling and Cooking: Wire mesh is a versatile and useful tool in grilling and cooking, providing various options for cooking different foods and adding flavor to grilled or smoked foods. It can be used as a grilling basket, cooking surface, smoking platform, and grilling mat.

wire mesh colander - food & beverage industry

wire mesh grill - food & beverage industry

wire mesh fry basket - food & beverage industry

wire mesh cooling rack - food & beverage industry

Stainless Steel Wire Mesh

Stainless steel wire mesh is a popular choice in the food and beverage industry due to its numerous advantages, including corrosion resistance, durability, hygiene, flexibility, high strength-to-weight ratio, and aesthetics. 

There are several different grades of stainless steel, each with unique properties and applications. Here are some of the most common grades of stainless steel and their uses in the food and beverage sector:

  • 304 grade: An important material for food/beverage processing because it is highly resistant to corrosion and chemical damage. This grade is popular for food contact surfaces, piping systems, processing equipment, and work surfaces in the food processing plant.
  • 316 grade: With an extremely high-temperature resistance, 316 grade can be used at elevated temperatures up to 1500°F (815°C) in continuous service and up to 1700°F (927°C) in intermittent service. This suits the food and beverage industry’s heat exchangers, boilers, and furnace components. 
  • 430 grade: The magnetic properties in 430-grade stainless steel provide a crucial measure for food safety as it can eliminate the possibility of metal particles in food processing (i.e., salt and coffee). Metal contaminants could come from various sources that may get mixed in initially (raw metal materials, processing machines, or screen fragments). A screen or separator using 430 grade would create a surface for these metallic impurities to collect for removal. 

Mesh Count and Performance

Mesh count refers to the number of openings per linear inch in a piece of wire mesh. It’s an important factor to consider when selecting wire mesh because it determines the size of particles that can pass through the mesh.

If a wire mesh has a higher mesh count, the openings are closer together and smaller in size, allowing it to filter out smaller particles. This makes it ideal for applications where fine filtration is neccesary, such as in the production of pharmaceuticals or in the food and beverage industry, where small particles can contaminate the final product.

On the other hand, a wire mesh with a lower mesh count has larger openings and can allow larger particles to pass through. This type of wire mesh is suitable for applications requiring coarser filtration, such as separating large food particles or producing building materials.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Wire Mesh

There are various methods available to cleanse wire mesh such as manual scrubbing with brushes, high-pressure cleaning, and ultrasonic cleaning. The cleaning method depends on the type of mesh and contamination. It is important to avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that can damage the wire mesh or contaminate the food or beverage. 

Good practices for maintaining your wire mesh include: 

  1.  Avoiding harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners
  2. Regular cleaning and inspection of wire mesh 
  3. Replacement of damaged or worn wire mesh.

Benefits of Wire Mesh in Food and Beverage Processing

Wire mesh is beneficial in food and beverage processing to filter out unwanted particles, impurities, and contaminants that can compromise the quality and safety of the product.

This material can also strain cooking oil to remove food particles, extend the life of the oil, and improve the quality of fried food products. 

It is a cost-effective solution due to its durability and corrosion resistance.

Safety Precautions

Safety precautions when using wire mesh in food and beverage processing include ensuring that the mesh is food-grade, free from contaminants, and regularly cleaned and maintained.

Following food safety regulations and guidelines and using appropriate equipment when handling the wire mesh or working with food or beverages is essential.

Why Choose Universal Wire Cloth Co.

Because wire mesh is a crucial component of the food and beverage processing industry, ensuring you get the best quality products is essential. At Universal Wire Cloth Co., our 46 years of experience have led us to produce the finest quality wire mesh products in the industry, and our prices are hard to beat. 

We also offer an assortment of specialized sample kits to help you decide which of our products you need. 

Contact Us Today!

Ready to purchase some of the best wire mesh products on the market? Call Universal Wire Cloth Co. today, request a sample kit, or place your order!