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food safe finishes

2/23/15       
Sam

We are making a wood product which will come in contact with coffee. I would like to coat the area with a food safe finish. I was thinking about a "warmed", purified shellac/bees wax combination. I know most coatings are fairly safe once cured but coffee being acidic, I wouldn't want it to eat into the coated surface. Mineral Oil has worked marginally.
thanks
Sam

2/23/15       #3: food safe finishes ...
Paul Snyder  Member

Sam,

Define the amount of durability you are looking for;

  • Protects the wood from prolonged contact with liquids (coffee)?
  • Heat resistant (hot coffee)?
  • Withstands repeated washing?
  • Dish soap?
  • Does/does not need frequent re-application?

These factors will help define the finish that meets you needs.

2/24/15       #4: food safe finishes ...
Sam

Paul,

The coffee will not be making 100% contact, but only occasionally. Heat resistance will be an issue based on typical temperatures of coffees. For this application there will be no washing or cleaning involved nor any use of dish soap. Last is there will be no re-application opportunity either.

A wax may not be best even though initially I thought that would be the ticket to replacing the mineral oil. Thought of Shellac but not sure how it will stand up to the acidic nature of coffee.

What are your thoughts???
Sam

2/24/15       #5: food safe finishes ...
Jim Member

Dumb question maybe. With all of the problems with heat, moisture and acids, why not use a solid surface material?

Seems to me that would solve the problem. Solid Surface can be machined like wood with the same tools.

2/24/15       #6: food safe finishes ...
Robert Member

Shellac will fall off . Have you considered Bamboo. My rice cooker is older than the hills and it came with a Bamboo paddle. I just wash off the paddle with soapy water.

2/24/15       #7: food safe finishes ...
Sam

Jim,
What would you recommend for a solid surface material?

Robert,
We don't stock bamboo but Alder, Maples, Walnut, contemplating Myrtle wood as an option because of the close proximity to us.

Considering Tung Oil for the coating but not sure of the wet application here, if that would stand up.

Thanks All - please keep the ideas rolling. I appreciate it.
Sam

2/24/15       #8: food safe finishes ...
rich c.

Hot coffee and bees wax sure isn't going to work. I've always gone by the rule that wood is not the perfect material for everything. Coffee contact puts wood on the sideline as far as I am concerned.

2/25/15       #9: food safe finishes ...
Jim

Since I do not know what you are building, I can only give out ideas. Solid surface materials such as corian type product or hdpe or something along that line.

It was just a thought with all of the problems that you seem to running into to finish the wood.

2/26/15       #10: food safe finishes ...
Chaim Gottesman

Website: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chaimgottesman/sets/

Why apply a finish at all?
sometimes no finish is best.
I don't put any finish on cutting boards that will get used for cutting veggies and meat and so forth because they would just get washed off in no time even mineral oil.
most of the wood I use for cutting boards is beech and sapele.
Chaim

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