Stainless steel is a term used widely in daily conversation but most of us don’t know exactly what stainless steel is. Stainless steel is an alloy composed of two or three different metals (Chuasiriporn 1). The main component is low carbon steel often combined with chromium or nickel. The addition of chromium to the carbon steel helps the metal resist corrosion, rust, and stains making it ideal for food storage and flatware.
There are more than 60 grades of stainless steel classified by their crystalline structure. The most common type of stainless steel is called austenitic which makes up the majority of stainless steel production. The austenitic structure of iron helps it to be virtually non-magnetic and more durable at lower temperatures. This category contains the most common forms of stainless steel used in food storage and flatware, 18/8 and 18/10. The most common form of stainless steel found in flatware is called 18/10. This means that it is composed of 18% chromium and 10% nickel along with carbon steel. Subsequently, 18/8 is composed of 18% chromium and 8% nickel (Wikipedia 1).
This type of metal is used widely in hospitals, kitchens, and food and drug processing plants because it is easy to clean and keep germ-free. Stainless steel is also corrosion resistant which means that it will not be harmed by acidic foods or drinks (SSINA). Cooks also favor using stainless steel pots and pans to cook with because it does not change the taste of the food cooked within it even after being heated (Chuasiriporn 1). As a food or drink storage container, this is also very important because it is taste neutral unlike aluminum cans or containers that leave a metallic flavor to the contents especially if the food is mildly acidic.
Stainless steel has a very long cycle of life which makes it cost effective and gives it long term value. It is also 100% recyclable (SSINA) which means is very eco-friendly and makes the most of our valuable resources. Stainless steel is a very safe and smart option for food and beverage storage and would make a valuable addition to your kitchen.
Chuasiriporn, Amrita. “Stainless Steel Pan Food Storage Safety”. eHow.com. eHow Food and Drink Demand Media Property. 2009-2011. February 1, 2011. http://www.ehow.com/about_5325006_stainless-pan-food-storage-safety.html
“Stainless Steel”. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. January 30, 2011. February 1, 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stainless_steel
“Stainless Steel Overview: Features and Benefits”. The Stainless Steel Information Center. February 1, 2011. http://www.ssina.com/overview/features.html