One industry where the term oil may not be readily apparent is the food industry. After all, we typically think of oil as a dark liquid that is used in our cars and trucks or, unfortunately, in some cases, as a product that is spilled in water and we see the environmental damage that can be done. However, oil is used in many areas of the food manufacturing industry. For this reason, it is very important to use the correct type of oil. In addition, other benefits may be derived from using specific food grade lubricants.
- Lubricant Performance – like the majority of lubricants, food grade lubricants must perform under specific and sometimes harsh environments. Food grade lubricants are used in gears, compressors and food-processing equipment. Therefore, they must contain all of the additives, such as, extreme pressure, oxidation, anti-wear, that the conventional products have. They must also be compatible with the seals in the equipment. However, they must also be certified for use in food processing and manufacturing.
- Food Safety – it is vital to choose lubricants that are certified for use in food processing and manufacturing. Leaks will occur and so a product that is NSF certified, H1 registered and ISO certified is a must. In addition, some products are used as coatings on knives, bakery pans, meat trays and hooks, and in water pumps so a product that meets specific standards is critical.
- Bio-Based and Biodegradable – a bio-based lubricant is one that is formulated with renewable base stock and many of these products are biodegradable. Biodegradable products are capable of breaking down naturally and assimilated in to the environment. Many of the food-grade lubricants fit in to one of these categories. These products are typically made from synthetic base stocks and are environmentally-friendly.
- Sustainability – refrigeration systems can offer a huge payback with regard to energy conservation. Optimizing a system with additional conservation projects and necessary maintenance can provide significant reductions in utility bills. In addition, the refrigeration lubricants are synthetic-based providing extended drain intervals and high performance.