5 misconceptions about food-grade lubricants


Table of Contents

1. Are Food Grade Lubricants of lower quality than standard industrial counterparts?

Some people believe FG lubricants would provide a shorter lubrication interval or a much shorter service life. Some others think FG lubricants are not resistant to higher or lower temperatures and are not compatible with plastics and elastomers.

Nothing could be further from the truth. FG approved lubricants’ base oils and additives have been developed to be as good as their conventional industrial counterparts. For this reason a good FG lubricant can have the same positive impact on productivity and costs as their standard industrial counterparts.

2. Are there enough Food-grade lubricants available for all lubrication applications?

Another misconception about FG lubricants is that the existing range is limited and thus non-FG approved lubricants would still have to be applied in the area, which would entail additional safety problems and administrative burdens. 

All types of lubricants, from dry lubricants to thread pastes, are now available in food variants.

JAX offers a very wide range of FG lubricants for all your applications.

3. Do I have to use Food-Grade lubricants for all lubrication points?

In a production environment we often find a variety of different lubrication points. Some are located in the immediate vicinity of the food processing process and others are further away from it.

A general misconception is that the lubrication points that are remote do not need to be lubricated with a FG lubricant.

This is not correct. According to European legislation, food processors are required to draw up an HACCP plan; which should identify all possible food-safety hazards and how the risks are identified and controlled. This includes the risk of contamination from the use of the wrong lubricants. The best way to avoid these risks is to use only approved food grade lubricants in all your plant.

4. The American FDA food fafety lubricants test

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the federal government agency of the United States that controls the quality of food and medicine in a broad sense.

Lubricants, however, are not included, because they are non-food compounds. If they wish, manufacturers can use it so that the lubricants are inspected according to the requirements of the FDA, among others in the NSF International organization. This organization checks the lubricant based on the regulations of 21 CFR §178.3570. Upon acceptance, the product receives an NSF H1 registration, as proof that the product is suitable as a lubricant for incidental food contact.

5. Are Food Grade Lubricants Breeding Grounds For Microbial Contamination?

JAX has been a pioneer in the field of food-safe lubricants for over 60 years. They were the first to introduce food-grade lubricants to the market in 1962, approved by the United States Department of Agriculture. These lubricants are NSF approved and have an H1. Some of them have even a 3H approval that allows them to come into direct contact with food.

All the JAX NSF H1 certified FG lubricants contain the JAX proprietary Micronox anti-bacterial preservative. JAX has developed and patented Micronox, which protects the lubricants against microbacterial contamination and degradation.

The use of food-grade lubricants only avoids the danger of contamination.

misconceptions about food-grade lubricants

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