Tubing Buying Tip #6: Taste and Odor Transfer
If your application involves foods, beverages, dairy products, laboratory fluids or medicines, it’s likely that you don’t want any taste or odor transferred from the tubing or hose to those products.
Some tubing and hose materials contain plasticizers – chemical agents – to aid processing and to help make the finished tubing more flexible. You may have heard of BPA (bisphenol A) or DEHP (Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate). These are compounds that are used as plasticizers.
Under certain circumstances these additives can leach out from the tubing and end up in the product flowing through the tubing, resulting in an off taste, odor or health concern. This may be acceptable if the line is used for a waste product or something no one will consume. But if the fluid is part of a finished food or medicine, it can be a problem.
There are many tubing and hose materials that are naturally flexible. Examples include silicone, polyurethane and latex. Other materials, such as fluoropolymer and polypropylene, are less flexible but still do not require plasticizers in their tubing manufacturing processes. This eliminates the potential of taste and odor issues that arise from the use of plasticizers.
Certain tubing may, to some people, simply have an unpleasant smell; that same tubing can have no odor to others. But if you’re the person who does smell something, you may want to avoid using that tubing in your application when someone will eat or drink the end product.
If taste or odor is a concern in your application, sample a candidate hose or tubing to test if the material might affect your process or product. You can connect with our team by completing the following form to discuss your application needs and concerns with a Fluid Transfer Specialist.