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Food grade lubricants: quality counts

Lubricant manufacturers, such as Fuchs, understand that quality matters. It is especially important when food may be affected by the product. This is because the safety of consumers is paramount. Further, any lubricant of food grade should not impact adversely on an item in terms of flavour or odour should a leakage happen. In the food packing sector, such a possibility cannot be ignored.

Fortunately, the manufacturers of this variety of lubricants have focused on the enhancement of quality and taken concrete action to maintain standards going forward. For example, Fuchs has used its collective experience to ensure that best practice is followed.

The complexity of the challenge

Adhering to rigorous quality standards in this area is not a straightforward matter because several companies produce a range of different lubricants of food grade. For instance, a manufacturer can be responsible for the production of compressor oils, cleaners, greases, gear oils, refrigeration oils, hydraulic oils and maintenance oils.

As a consequence of all this choice, consumers sometimes require technical support services to select the most appropriate product for the application they need to manipulate. Clearly, the preservation of the highest quality standards across such a variety of products necessitates a meticulous approach.

One way forward

Certification has enabled some companies to show that they stick to the best possible quality standards. Back in the spring of 2008, the Cassida brand from Fuchs was awarded ISO 21469 Certification. This was critical in showcasing the integrity of the product. However, the peace of mind of potential purchasers was not left there.

NSF H1 Registration was used so that a company employing the lubricant could progress with confidence. Food safety auditors may look out for the details of the relevant certification and registration when they are about their business.

Temperature can matter

The truth is that the quality of food grade lubricant will deteriorate if it is not used in the correct fashion. One potential difficulty relates to temperature. There is little to be gained by investing in lubricant of a high quality if it is only going to be damaged by inappropriate treatment.

For example, one type of machinery grease that’s normally of food grade will only work between -40°C and 240°C. Similarly, another type of grease, which is multipurpose, will not have the desired impact above 204°C. However, the savvy food manufacturer can opt to invest in special grease that will be satisfactory above 300°C if required. Nonetheless, even that special grease has a stipulated maximum temperature.

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