Food industry: voestalpine takes care of nutrition 6 minutes spent reading

Food industry: voestalpine takes care of nutrition

Volkmar Held
As a freelance writer, Volkmar Held reports for voestalpine on topics that move people. The content of his stories ranges from archaeometallurgy to future technologies.

From burger patties to coffee, a lot of voestalpine know-how is involved in the production of food and beverages. The Group supports safe, efficient, and sustainable nutrition.

From healthy muesli to all types of pasta: voestalpine know-how is often used in processing food and luxury foods. The company’s materials and engineered products provide the ideal basis for food processing because they keep food safe, preserve taste, and allow companies to work efficiently, reliably, and sustainably.

Menü à la voestalpine

Burgers, bread, and bolognese—it would be almost impossible to process food in the necessary quantities without state-of-the-art technology. voestalpine provides the ideal materials and customized tools for many of the products on our daily menu:

  • Muesli: Steel from the Swedish voestalpine subsidiary Uddeholms AB is used to produce rollers for highly efficient grain processing.
  • Meat: Digging your teeth into the leg of mammoth is a habit now relegated to the past. As life has become more refined, blades for cutting up food have become more specialized. The food industry now has an incredible range of cutting tools at its disposal, from steak knives to saws for frozen foods. The input material ensuring their long-lasting sharpness and corrosion resistance comes from voestalpine companies in Sweden, Austria, and Germany.
  • Fish: No bones, please. Freshwater and saltwater fish are finely skinned and filleted using sharp blades made of strip steel from voestalpine Precision Strip AB. The high steel grade ensures minimal waste and uninterrupted enjoyment.
  • Poultry: Customers receive well-portioned poultry parts. For more than 30 years, voestalpine HPM Colombia S.A. has been producing knives for cutting up chicken and other types of poultry, as well as for cutting the vacuum packaging to size.
  • Coffee, cocoa, spices: Grinding to create great taste is particularly hard work for mills: pulverizing coffee beans, spices, etc., places extraordinary demands on the tools used. The grinding mechanism must have a low risk of breakage, even when an occasional stone has found its way into the mixture. At the same time, the sharp edges need to be long-lasting to ensure optimum results. Hard at work: materials produced by voestalpine BÖHLER Edelstahl GmbH.
  • Pasta: Products from this Styrian voestalpine company also produce many types of popular pasta. Steel extrusion screws press the dough through steel dies into the shape of spaghetti, penne, or fusilli.
  • Desserts: A praline after the meal or a dollop of jam to dress up a dessert? Acid-resistant steel from voestalpine BÖHLER Edelstahl GmbH is used for portioning tools.
  • Chips: The packaging for classic TV snacks may have been produced with film stretching machines whose special guides are made of strip steel from voestalpine Precision Strip GmbH.

Efficiency pays

In the food industry, resources must be used as efficiently as possible—including time and energy. Therefore, manufacturers look for materials that allow them to produce as continuously as possible. It should rarely be necessary to sharpen knives or to service equipment.

Extruders, for example, are subjected to high forces during kneading, mixing, and portioning. In Hagfors, Kapfenberg, and Wetzlar, voestalpine companies cut materials specifically for these applications. They minimize maintenance, for example sharpening grinders, and their optimal material design ensures safe and efficient production.


  • Sausage specifics—cutting technology from voestalpine
"A Danish sausage manufacturer uses a meat grinder set made by voestalpine to produce its popular raw sausages. The team at voestalpine HPM Denmark customized this set to meet the sausage manufacturer’s specific needs—especially tough edge-retaining blades and perforated discs given a PVD coating by voestalpine Eifeler. This gives the sausage filling the optimum consistency and reduces the drying time of the raw sausages by about 10 percent. Less time in the drying chamber means they can be produced with less energy and in a shorter time."
ZitatKay F., Food & Beverage Platform, High Performance Metals Division.
Meat grinder set—optimally customized by voestalpine for the application.

Meat grinder set—optimally customized by voestalpine for the application.


  • Sugar provides sweetness — thanks to voestalpine welding technology

When processing sugar cane, the efficiency with which the sugar-containing juice is extracted depends directly on the wear-resistance of the components in the sugar mill.

"Deposition welding with special UTP flux cored wires and stick electrodes from the voestalpine Böhler Welding Group provides the components with crucial surface protection."
Omar S., Country Sales Manager, voestalpine Böhler Welding Soldas do Brasil, São Paulo

The good taste remains.

Veal, pork, or chicken? You should be able to taste the difference. That’s why food processing is subject to high standards. The materials used in cutters, extruders, and knives influence the mechanical mixing and grinding process, not the taste.

"That’s why our steel brands for the food industry are designed to be extremely wear resistant. And under no circumstances will elements from the alloys be transferred to the food."
ZitatJosef M., Food & Beverage Platform, High Performance Metals Division

Keeping food nutritious.

Cleanliness and hygiene are prerequisites for a sustainable food supply. The properties of voestalpine stainless steel help the food industry meet these conditions.

"It is important for the food and beverage industry that during processing all surfaces are hygienic, and that the stainless steel performs for the length of its intended service life. If the surfaces of machines, tanks, and equipment are not properly treated after manufacturing they will corrode, leading to a shortened service life, and more importantly to a risk of food or beverage contamination. Our pickling products are ideal for this application."
ZitatAndré F., Managing Director, voestalpine Böhler weldCare AB in Malmö, Sweden.

Corrosion is a threat both to food safety and the processing equipment. In some applications, it can be caused by the highly corrosive disinfectants used in cleaning or by the production environment itself. Fish processing plants, for example, are exposed to seawater and blood. The Swedish voestalpine company offers concepts for surface cleaning and passivation that restore the surfaces to their original condition.


Hygiene is the critical factor in food processing—here on a processing vessel using voestalpine Böhler weldCare AB know-how.

Hygiene is the critical factor in food processing—here on a processing vessel using voestalpine Böhler weldCare AB know-how.


The fact that you can drink fresh orange juice out of season and without additives or preservatives is thanks to an innovative technology. High-pressure pasteurization exposes fruit, juices, and meat to an ambient pressure of around 6,000 bar in a water tank. Der Effekt: Unlike flavors and vitamins, undesirable harmful organisms cannot withstand this pressure and the natural appearance of the food remains largely unchanged.

To be able to work with ultra-high pressures in pasteurization chambers, the food industry needs reliable armoring wire—especially shaped wire like that produced by voestalpine Wire Technology GmbH.

“To go, please.”

When you get a takeout with pizza, french fries, etc., the cardboard packaging probably came off voestalpine Precision Strip GmbH cutting lines. In purely statistical terms, every third to fifth piece of packaging that hits the global market—for food or medical products, banana boxes, or transport packaging — is punched, cut, and folded into shape using products from voestalpine Precision Strip. Enjoy!

“To go?”—All over the world, cardboard packaging for food is produced on voestalpine Precision Strip GmbH cutting lines.

“To go?”—All over the world, cardboard packaging for food is produced on voestalpine Precision Strip GmbH cutting lines.

Volkmar Held