Lubricants for the foodprocessing and pharmaceutical industries
Lubricants for incidental food contact
For decades Klüber has been developing and manufacturing special lubricants tailored to suit the requirements in the food-processing industry.
Food-grade lubricants have to:
Furthermore, food-grade lubricants have to meet general technical requirements, i.e.
- comply with food regulations
- be physiologically inert
- be without taste or smell and
- be internationally approved.
Depending on the operating conditions and manufacturing processes in the individual food-processing plant, foodgrade lubricants have to ensure for example
- reduce friction and wear
- protect against corrosion
- dissipate heat and
- have a sealing effect.
- resistance to food products
- resistance to chemicals
- resistance to water
- neutral behaviour towards plastics and elastomers
- steam resistance
- sugar dissolving properties
- compatibility with rubber and sealing materials.
The NSF (National Sanitary Foundation), an internationally renowned authority on consumer protection in the food-processing industry, used to monitor compliance with pertinent regulations in the past.
Before a product was registered by the NSF and its predecessor USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) as food-grade lubricant, the manufacturer had to prove that all ingredients used in its formulation were on the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) list of allowable substances in accordance with the Guidelines of Security CFR 212, section 178.3570.
Based on the specified raw material lists, NSF registration is done in two categories:
Food Grade Lubricant according to NSF H1:
Suitable for an incidental, technically unavoidable contact with the food product.
Special lubricant according to NSF H2:
Suitable for use in the food-processing and pharmaceutical industries provided that a contact with the food product is absolutely impossible.
Since September 30, 1998, the USDA has no longer been issuing registrations of food-grade lubricants and the registration is now conducted by the NSF.
What about already registered or new products?
Those USDA registrations already granted will remain in effect. Now as before, NSF H1 and NSF H2 stand for the suitability of products for use in the food industry.
There are two main categories for modified and new products for the food industry:
Food-grade lubricants suitable for applications where incidental contact with the product may occur (NSF H1) Manufacture (constituents, quantity and purity) conforming strictly to FDA 21 CFR § 178.3570
Special lubricants suitable for applications in the food-processing industry with no direct contact between the lubricant and the food product (NSF H2)