Flowfresh was used in the plant's food manufacturing areas to meet sanitary requirements. The pita plant's environment would be especially difficult on the concrete floors.
Flowfresh was used in the plant's food manufacturing areas to meet sanitary requirements. The pita plant's environment would be especially difficult on the concrete floors.
Olympia Food Industries, a manufacturer of specialty food items for restaurants and supermarkets, recently transformed a vacant factory in Chicago into the world's largest pita bread manufacturing facility. The concrete floor would be a major factor.

Olympia's 60,000-square-foot “Pita Pan” building underwent a $4.5 million renovation from floor to ceiling, in addition to $15 million in new equipment.

For Concare Inc., a concrete floor repair and restoration contractor in Melrose Park, Ill., the toughest task was installing a floor strong enough to withstand sweltering hot baking ovens, near 100% humidity, steam cleaners applying 220º F heat, freezers whose temperatures dipped below -10º F, and a spiral freezer kept at -40º F. All of this is in the ultra-sanitary food processing areas.

Project engineers ruled out standard epoxy flooring because it does not effectively control contaminants commonly found in food plants. Without control measures, contaminants such as fungi and mildew will degrade concrete over time and threaten hygiene.

Concare recommended installing 12,000 square feet of Flowfresh RT for the mixing, proofing, preparation, and cooking areas subject to USDA sanitary requirements. The product by Valspar is a non-slip, heavy-duty rake and trowel system, which includes a built-in high-performance antimicrobial additive that inhibits bacterial odors and guards the floor against degradation from microorganisms.

“The antimicrobial agents in Flowfresh are incorporated throughout the coating, so if it's scratched or worn, the bacteria-fighting protection is not compromised,” said Jeff Fleming, Valspar's flooring technical sales representative. “Because it has the same coefficient of expansion as concrete, the coating withstands extreme thermal shock, allowing it to tolerate sudden temperature changes without cracking or delaminating from the concrete surface.”

Concare also applied Federal Formula clear hardener on the concrete floors inside the silo room and two freezers, and EpoRok resurfacer on the damaged floors of the packaging and loading docks. Valspar EC-6, a self-leveling 1/8-inch slurry epoxy coating, was used in non-production areas, such as bathrooms and the lunch area.

Sedona Red decorative quartz finish was broadcast into some of the EC-6 for the tool room, boiler, and corridor. For unique colors, Valspar mixed a blue batch of Flowfresh and provided EpoRok in Colonial Blue in the dock area.

“After some fine-tuning on the floors, the Olympia Foods plant is now up and running, producing the best pita bread available,” said Fleming.

For more information on Valspar flooring products, visitwww.valsparflooring.com, or telephone 800-637-7793.

Project: Pita Bread Plant, Chicago

Owner: Olympia Food Industries

Floor contractor: Concare, Melrose Park, Ill.

Flooring product manufacturer: Valspar