A visit to the grocery store or farmer’s market will provide insight as to who uses food-grade lubricants.
Stevenson Oil provides lubricants that are graded for food use. These are safe and authorized for use for those manufacturers who may possibly be in contact with food products (registered as NSF H-1 lubricants).
Food grade oil use cuts down maintenance on the machines and reduces the amount of energy consumed. The products are easily disposed and are environmentally friendly.
Here are some of the industries that use food grade machine oil:
- Bottled Water Industry
- Canning & Bottling Operations
- Frozen Food
- Fruit & Vegetable Processors
- Health Care Product Manufacturers
- Meat & Poultry
Would you like to know more about food grade lubricants? Contact us today at 855-943-3337.
To minimize wear and function smoothly, machines need lubrication. Oil makes an efficient lubricator, but for processing products designed for consumption, not just any oil will do. Food grade oil ensures that if traces of lubricant come in contact with food or water, the food will not be contaminated. Food safety is a high priority, and food grade machine oils play a key role in maintaining it.
What Food Grade Lubricants Do
Although they are food-safe, oils used in commercial bakeries, breweries, canneries and other food processing plants must still perform all the usual functions of a lubricant. Some oils keep gears moving fluidly and prevent wear. Others protect moving parts from corrosion and rust by forming an occlusive barrier between metal and acidic solutions. Lubricants also act as heat sinks sometimes, keeping hard-working machinery cool throughout constant operation. In some cases, lubricants act as cleaning solutions. Corn and wheat mills, for example, produce copious dust that can clog machine parts. Keeping the equipment well lubricated helps keep grit from settling into gears and causing parts to wear more quickly.
While they perform all the usual tasks of industrial lubricants, food grade oils must also hold up to the unusual conditions found in commercial food processing plants and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. Meat-packing centers undergo frequent steam cleaning, and oils must hold up to high temperatures and moisture without degrading. In distilleries and breweries, alcohol and alcohol-based cleaners require specialized lubricants. Pickling and salt-curing processes also take their toll on metal parts without food grade oil to protect them.
Types of Food Grade Oil
Different equipment and processes call for different types of oils, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated three categories of food grade lubricants:
- H1 – Lubricants that may come into incidental contact with food fall under this category. These oils are more stringently regulated as they are in closer proximity to products on the line. Lubricants used in stamping or extruding machines, for example, typically belong to this class.
- H2 – Some oils have no possibility of coming into contact with food, and those belong to the H2 group. Despite their distance from food processing areas, these oils must still qualify as food grade lubricants.
- H3 – Oils that keep cranes, hooks, trolleys and other moving equipment running smoothly belong to this category. They are usually edible oils.
Food grade lubricants come from a variety of sources to suit the many applications in which food processing facilities use them. Vegetable-based oils are common, but new classes of inert, silicone-based lubricants that resist thermal breakdown have also found a place in many industries. Other facilities use food-grade mineral oils on and near the production line.
Who Uses Food Grade Lubricants?
Any commercial plant that makes products intended for consumption and has machinery to automate the process uses food grade industrial lubricants. The wheat in a standard loaf of bread has undergone harvesting, milling, storage, kneading, baking, slicing and packaging at a minimum, and all of the equipment used to do it rely on food-safe oils. Almost everything on a modern supermarket’s shelves has undergone some automated processing, including bottled water and pet food.
If an industry uses machinery, it uses lubricants. Food grade oils maintain food safety while protecting parts from damage, extending the effective life of equipment and ensuring smooth operation.
Learn more about food grade lubricants and safety.