Feed Grade vs Food Grade, What’s the Difference?

Feed Grade vs Food Grade, What’s the Difference?

The FIBC industry if full of acronyms, terms and jargon that can make it difficult to truly understand the available products and their uses. One example of this confusion centers around the use of the terms “Feed Grade” and “Food Grade.” Many people mistakenly assume that feed grade and food grade mean the same thing, when in reality they are very different. Understanding the differences between the two can help you ensure you are sourcing the proper bulk bags for your specific needs. Let’s explore the definitions and uses for each type of bag.


Defining the Term "Feed Grade"

The term feed grade generally refers to products that are designed to hold products for animals, including pets, farm livestock and even zoo animals. Feed grade materials are not certified as safe for human consumption. Additionally, facilities that produce feed grade products are not held to the same standards as those that produce products intended for human consumption. Feed grade bags may be manufactured with recycled resins or resins that are not certified as safe for humans.

In short, feed grade FIBCs are intended for products destined for consumption by animals. Feed grade applications do not require bags that are certified as safe for materials destined for human consumption.


Defining the Term "Food Grade"

The term food grade often refers to products that are certified as safe for human consumption, like nuts, spices, rice, supplements, sugar and flour. Generally speaking, products that are considered food grade are manufactured in facilities that have been certified by a recognized authority such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Food grade FIBCs are manufactured with virgin resin in designated clean room facilities. Technically speaking, Food Grade products allow for up to 100ppm (parts per million) or mold and other potential contaminates while still meeting specifications defined by organizations like the BRC. These levels have been deemed “Food Safe” and aren’t enough to harm potential consumers.

Food grade bulk bags may be certified by a range of food safety standards, including the American Institute of Baking (AIB) or Safe Quality Foods (SQF) standards.


Why Is This Important When Sourcing FIBCs?

The distinction between feed grade and food grade is critical when choosing bags. In feed grade situations – those involving products destined for animal consumption – a standard FIBC is often the best, and most affordable fit.

For food grade applications – those involving products intended for human consumption – a certified food grade bag is required.


Speak With Your Distributor to Ensure the Right FIBC for Your Application

Understanding the difference between feed grade and food grade can be difficult – so can selecting the right bulk bag for your application. At National Bulk Bag, we are here to help you understand the best options for your feed grade and food grade applications.

Our knowledge of food grade certifications and relationships with multiple vendors allows us to help you identify and source the exact bag for your unique applications.



Thanks for Reading! 

standard vs food fibc - offer-1In today’s competitive food marketplace, IFS and other GFSI recognized accreditations are increasingly important and you need the right packing to ensure compliance.

With over 20 years of food industry experience, National Bulk Bag has the expertise to help you select the right food grade certified bag for your product.

Click the button below to download our Food Grade Buyer’s Guide. By downloading this guide, you will get access to our food grade comparison chart, things you should look for in a food grade supplier, and everything else you need to know about purchasing food grade bags.


October 13, 2020

Categories: Food Grade Bulk Bags

About the Author: Jenny Rosa

Jenny Rosa is an Account Manager for the industrial bag division of Rapid Packaging and National Bulk Bag. She received her Associates Degree from St. Cloud State University and was previously a researcher at JNR Adjustment.

Jenny's background at Rapid includes starting in Customer Service in 2015 and making the transition to sales in 2017. Her background in CS has helped her enjoy finding whole packaging solutions. This includes picking out stock options for short term use, to creating custom solutions unique to individual business and industries.

In her free time Jenny enjoys going to concerts - particularly country, pop and rock. She is a die-hard Minnesota Vikings fan and enjoys canning her own food in the fall (her favorite is homemade spaghetti sauce).

Jenny is National Bulk Bag's resident food-grade specialist. This includes but is not limited to pet food, nuts and legumes, and ready-to-eat foods. She understands in depth the stringent rules facing the food industry as a whole and is an expert at helping food companies find the right bag for their product and application. She also has extensive knowledge of woven polypropylene, BOPP, polyethylene, and textile bags.

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