Food grade lubricants frequently asked questions

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  • 1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Food and Beverage Industry(Also for Dairy, Pharmaceutical & Life science)1. What is a Food Grade Lubricant? A food grade lubricant if incidentally comes in contact with the food product should not pose any physiological hazard to the consumer or effect the odour, taste and color of the end product/finished product (for example Ghee, Cheese, milk, milk powder etc in the milk industry) Food Grade lubricants are harmless if consumed 10ppm(part per million) or 10mg per Kg, for non food grade lubricant the tolerance limit is zero ppm Molykote FG Lubes are classified under three categoriesA. Molykote Mineral oils are produced in a patented hydro cracking process, which ensures that they are nearly free of contaminations (Contaminations like sulphur, phosphorous, nitrogen etc are present in conventional oils)B. Molykote Synthetic oils are made by combining molecular “building blocks” to meet targeted performance specifications and to minimize impurities. Synthetic oils are formulated with new generations performance –enhancing additives, and particularly our NSF H1 approved synthetic oils/greases are free from any contamination.C. Synthetic blends are comprised of synthetic and mineral oil base stocks2. Why Food grade lubricants need to be used? In the industry, when treating and processing food in large quantities, the use of machines is necessary, hence the lubricants used in these machines has to be reliable, hygienically perfect and non toxic. In such cases where machinery is used, there are chances of incidental contact of the lubricant with the food product, or because of natural wear & tear of oil seals of gear box, hydraulic systems, couplings etc the incidental contact may occur. Or Grease can drip from bearing or oil can drip from conveyor/chains. When there are no chances of lubricant coming in contact with food products, the level of toxic release from non-food grade lubricant used in the vicinity is unsafe and can lead to food poisoning. The risk involved in this industry is very high as these products are consumed or directly used on skin, hence the cost of using is always less compared to the cost of not using Food grade lubricants, the cost of not using means there can be huge recall cost, legal liability, disposal cost (if contaminated with conventional lubes) and more over Brand image loss, which no company can afford.3. Regulations/standards/specifications for selection of Food Grade Lubricant  Food Industry globally follows NSF International approvals, and we also have Registered all our H1 products with NSF and few H2 are also registered with NSF (though we have many H2 products, because of certification cost is too high, we have not registered all our H2 products)  NSF International is Public Health and safety company, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, is the world leader in standards development, product certification, education, and risk-management for public health and safety, and protection of the environment  Kosher approval is desired for Jewish countries and we do have kosher approval for Molykote range of FG lubricants (Kosher in Hebrew means “Fit” and its certification is as per Jewish Dietary Law) FDA: Food and drug Administration, USA USDA: United States department of Agriculture NSF: National Sanitation Foundation, HQ at Ann Arbor, MI USA H1: Lubricated part may have incidental contact with the foodstuff not exceeding 10ppm H2: Lubricated part may not have contact with food FDA Chapter 21,Section 178.3570 deals with lubricants/components of lubricants, where incidentalcontact may occur and lubricants can be safely used on machinery for manufacturing, processing, packing,transportation and holding foodstuff
  • 2. (FDA approves the components/raw material for manufacturing lubricants and these components including additive should be safe & non toxic, so that when there is incidental contact with the food stuff not exceeding the limit of 10ppm,It should not have any detrimental effect on the health of consumer) The USDA H1 approval for lubricants has been widely recognized as safe to be used on food machinery till September 1998,after 1998 USDA ceased approval and from then NSF International has taken off, NSF is a privately run public health and safety company and does the similar job of USDA, even the designations H1 & H2 used by USDA earlier are continued by NSF and the only difference is instead of USDA H1 and USDA H2, its called NSF H1 and NSF H2. The role of FDA for approving the components for lubricants has not changed and is still in force. H1 designation means that the lubricated part may have incidental food contact not to exceed 10ppm(10mg per Kg) H2 designation means that the lubricant part may not have contact with the food, for H2 approved products the quantity of components/additives is restricted to ensure that these lubricants are non-toxic, when used in the vicinity of food products. As H2 are not food grade lubricants, they should never be used in the applications, where incidental contact may occur4. Selection of Right product from MO, Synthetic blend and Fully synthetic? Mineral Oil (MO) based food grade lubricants of molykote should be recommended, where the equipment is running under ambient conditions, without high loads, High or low temperature, absence of moisture, water or other media and there is no failures of bearings, gear boxes, seals because of conventional lubricant. Because of the safety factor, it’s always advisable to use H1 approved, as the cost of not using is much higher compared to cost of using. Semi synthetic lubricants or synthetic blend is recommended, where the conditions are little harsh then as compared to above. Or the relubrication interval needs to be increased from 30 days to 60 days because its difficult to frequently change (limitation to stop the machine or the lubrication part is in intricate position) or the risk of contamination is high because of frequent lubrication. or the temperature are extremely low (like minus 10 Deg.C or beyond) or high temperature above + 90 Deg.C. Synthetic lubricant based on PAO (Polyalfaolefin) are designed to take up extreme operating temperature, water resistant, are oxidation resistant and are highly recommended where the frequency of relubrication needs to be improved by 3-5 times as compared to MO based FG (Food Grade) lubricants. The major reason of selecting synthetic lubricant is because of their superior performance, which leads to fewer breakdowns and hence higher productivity, The initial cost of lubricant may go up after switching to synthetic lubricants, but in the long run the cost of lubrication will be less and it will be cost effective, also since the consumption of the lubricant will come down, because of longer drain intervals. It will lead to low disposal cost and will be environment friendly. Contamination is the major reason of concern in the food industry and contamination can occur during changing/topping/regreasing/checking of lubricant, and since the cost of contamination removal is 10 times as compared to elimination in the first place, its advisable to use fully synthetic lubes: Remember for synthetic lubes: FILL IT, SHUT IT, FORGET IT5. Changeover from conventional to FG Lubes Usually when changing from one lubricant to another, its advisable to thoroughly clean the parts (bearings, Gear box, vaccum pump, compressor, hydralic system etc) in the case of FG lubricant, some extra care should be taken to minimize the contamination, hence it is strongly recommended to flush/clean the surface/area of application more than once. (Remember cost of removal of contamination is 10 times of elimination/prevention)6. Still, why food grade lubricant should be used, when there is no chance of incidental contact to occur in the plant?
  • 3. A. Food industry is very sensitive compared to any other industry; even the toxic material released from the conventional lubricants can affect the quality of foodstuff B.In The food industry variety of lubricants are used, food grade as well as non food grade, hence there can be contamination of the grease gun which is only meant to be used for FG lubes with non FG/conventional lubricants, if best practices are not in place. C.Using FG lubricants is like insurance, where the cost of premium is very low, compared to the cost of damage D. Remember Murphy’s law: If it can go wrong, It will E. Encourage Best practices in the organization to yield best results “Our game is only as good as we practice”7. What else Dow Corning can do? A. Plant Audit:  Identify improvement and cost reduction opportunities relating to machinery Lubrication practices and management  Suggest Best practices B.Technical and application engineering support from Molykote & Channels C. Oil Analysis programme D. Lubrication Management Software E. Training of Maintenance/concerned people on contamination control and cost effective Lubrication methodology.8. Molykote Products selection guide. Below are few products, with their application details for understanding of FG Lubes, regarding Gear oils, Vacuum pump oil, Hydraulic oils, compressor oil etc, please refer the enclosed FnB catalogue/specific flyers.Note: Since the consumption of lubricants in the Food & Beverage industry, drink industry, dairies, pharma, lifescience is not in barrels, its advisable and recommended to promote synthetic Lubricants, for example G4500grease (NSF H1) for all application where multipurpose greases are used.Synthetic lubes consumption will be much less compared to conventional lubes. Which leads to lessercontamination and low disposal cost.We have also White EP Grease (NSF H1) for the low end of the price sensitive market and in between is our EP2Bearing greases (NSF H1) in NLGI 2 and EP 1 in NLGI 1 as well EP0 in NLGI 0. Molykote Products selection guide for FnB Industry No. Molykote Product NSF Apr. Applications1 G4500 Multipurpose Synthetic H1 Bearings of mixers, motors, conveyor, low temperature Grease equipment, packaging machines, White high performance grease to replace NLGI 2 greases in Food Industry2 G4700 Extreme Pressure H2 Non Food related, Heavy duty Pedestal Block bearings, Synthetic Grease ID/FD Fan bearings, conveyors etc3 *White EP Bearing Grease H1 Mineral oil based white grease for Mixer, conveyors bearings, and all applications where conventional greases are used.4 EP0 Bearing Grease H1 Pumpable grease for Centralized lubrication system (NLGI 0)5 EP1 Bearing Grease H1 Pumpable grease for Centralized lubrication system (NLGI 1)6 EP2 Bearing Grease H1 Extreme pressure MO based grease, for high and medium loads.7 HP 500 Grease H1 Extreme high temp.grease for –20 to + 250 Deg.C Ex. Oven/Conveyor bearings8 DC 111 Si.Compound WRAS, O Rings/rubber/plastic seals exposed to hot/cold water or
  • 4. Valve lubricant & sealant UK* steam/chemicals.9 P1900 Food Grade Paste H1 As Antisieze compound for Threaded connections & lubricant for sliding parts and very slow speed open gears10 Molykote Food Grade Spray oil H1 Aerosol easy to use, for Lubrication & corrosion protection of sliding parts/chains11 L-1460FG Chain oil H1 For all chains (–15 to +100 Deg.C)12 L-1468FG Synthetic freezer H1 For all chains operating at low temperature chain oil (-15 to –50 Deg.C)13 L-0510FG Multipurpose oil H1 For centralized lubrication of bearings/moving/sliding parts, can be used manually also. Note : Bearing Grease Product Positioning Lower End, Low Price - White EP Grease Medium End, Medium Price - EP 0/ 1/ 2 Grease High End, High Price - G 4500/ 4700 * WRAS: Water regulation advisory scheme, UK Bangalore 26.05.2004