Food grade lubricants are potentially indirect food additives. A grease or oil can become a food additive through leaks, over lubrication, messy application during maintenance, etc. Today's pharmaceutical, beverage and food-associated processing plants are running faster and harder than ever before. Selecting and implementing premium quality No-Tox Food Grade Lubricants along with the proper lubrication program ensures safe and efficient operations all while increasing profitability.
An oil or grease qualifies as an NSF H1 food grade lubricant when, in the event of a contamination, it is present in no more than 10 mg per kg of the foodstuff in question and must not cause any physiological hazard or affect the food's odor and taste in any way.
The following definitions of H1, H2, 3H, H3 and HT1 lubricants are provided by NSF International.
H1 - Lubricants with incidental food contact (so called Food Grade lubricants): Preparations permitted for use as lubricants and anti-rust agents, or as release agents on gaskets or seals of tank closures, where there is possibility of incidental food contact must be formulated in compliance with CFR, Title 21, Section 178.3570 and other sections referenced therein. The amount used should be the minimum required to accomplish the required technical effect on the equipment so treated. When a product is used as an anti-rust film, it should be removed by washing or wiping before putting the equipment back into service.
H2 - Lubricants with no food contact: These products are used on equipment and machine parts in locations where there is no possibility of the lubricant or lubricated part contacting edible products. There is not a specific list of substances that may be used as lubricants where there is no possibility of food contact. Most substances generally used for the purpose in industry would be acceptable.
3H - Release Agents: These products are used on grills, loaf pans, cutters, boning benches, chopping boards, or other hard surfaces in contact with meat and poultry food products to prevent food from adhering during processing. Products containing edible oils such as corn oil, cottonseed oil and soybean oil, mineral oil complying with 21 CFR, Part 172, Section 172.878, and other GRAS substances may be acceptable upon review by NSF. In addition, defoaming agents complying with 21 CFR Section 173.340 (a) (1) and (a) (2) may be acceptable.
H3 - Soluble oils: These products are used to prevent rust on hooks, trolleys and similar equipment. Treated equipment which contacts edible products should be cleaned by washing or wiping before putting the equipment back into service. Many products for the food industry are referred to as food grade, but it is important to know that only NSF H1 registered lubricants are truly food grade. All lubricants, including food grade lubricants, need to provide proper lubrication for metal-to-metal surface separation. Anti-wear performance, extreme pressure, high load carrying properties, oxidation stability, rust and corrosion inhibitors, good seal compatibility and the ability to perform in temperature extreme environments are paramount. They must withstand a broad range of contamination such as process water, steam, high-pressure water cleaning/ sanitation and acidic conditions. Other contaminants that food grade lubricants must withstand include chemicals, sugar and substances that are present in the manufacturing process.
Acceptable H1 approved lubricant base stocks can be either mineral or synthetic. Mineral oils used are either technical white mineral or USP-type white mineral oils. Synthetic lubricant base stocks are usually polyalphaolefins (PAO) or polyalkylene (PAG). These base stocks are primarily used in lubricants designed for temperature extremes. Dimethylpolysiloxane (silicones) with a viscosity greater than 300 centistokes is also permitted. Acceptable H1 approved grease thickening agents are aluminum stearate, aluminum complex, organo clay, polyurea and calcium sulfonate complex.
Whether you are looking for food grade grease, food grade oil, or converting your H2 lubricants to NSF H1 lubricants, contact SELTEC FZC and take advantage of the extensive No-Tox product line and technical expertise.
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