Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication March April 2014

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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54 | March - April 2014 | There are few certainties in life, but one of them is that lubri- cants leak. Regardless of how much effort is made to guard against leakage, it still occurs. In many industries, this isn't neces- sarily an issue. In food-related industries, it is more of a concern, as lubricant cross-contamination in food would be a bad thing. For this reason, a special category of lubricants has been developed — food-grade lubricants. These lubricants must perform all the same functions as ordinary lubricants as well as be inert, tasteless, odor- less and internationally approved. The four categories of food-grade lubricants are classified based on the risk of contact with food, feed or pharmaceuticals. The orig- inal designations were H1, H2, H3 and P1. H2-designated lubricants were to be used in areas where no contact with food, feed or phar- maceuticals would be possible. H3 lubricants were used in applications where direct contact would occur, such as a rust preven- tative on a meat hook. P1 lubricants were to be used in accordance with the conditions set forth in the United States Department of Agriculture's letter of acceptance and not in a food or beverage processing plant. The H1 designation is the most critical, as this cate- gory is for incidental contact. A widespread misconception is that "food grade" indicates that it is acceptable for these lubricants to come in contact with food products or pharmaceuticals. H1 lubricants are for incidental contact, meaning that they are not intended to come in contact with food products or pharmaceuticals but are to be used in instances where contact may occur. Prior to Sept. 30, 1998, the United States Department of Agri- culture's Food Safety and Inspection Service Division (USDA/FSIS) served as the governing body for food-grade lubricants. It granted approval based primarily on a lubricant's formulation ingredients. Registrations approved before Sept. 30, 1998, remain in effect, with USDA H1 and H2 still standing as recognized approval for food and drug suitability. After the USDA/FSIS ceased to be the watchdog for food-grade lubricants, three organizations stepped up to take a leadership role. These organizations were NSF International, Underwriters Labora- tory (UL) and a working group from three lubricant industry professional associations: the National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI), the European Lubricating Grease Institute (ELGI) and the European Hygienic Equipment Design Group (EHEDG). Of these three groups, the Underwriters Laboratory has not been very aggres- sive in outlining its lubricant and chemical authorization program. The NLGI, ELGI and EHEDG group has been active in defining its version of the authorization program. Much like the NSF, their program mirrors the requirements of the former USDA/FSIS program. A new standard relating to the definitions and requirements for food-grade lubricants was soon developed and submitted to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for consider- ation. In 2006 the ISO standard 21469-2006 was adopted. It is intended to be a step above the USDA requirements. The scope of ISO 21469-2006 specifies the hygiene requirements for the formulation, manufacture, use and handling of lubricants that may come into incidental contact through heat transfer, load transmission, lubrication or corrosion protection of machinery with products and packaging used in food, food-processing, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, tobacco or animal-feeding-stuffs industries. The hazards covered by this standard are associated with inci- dental product contact including biological, chemical and physical factors. Basic machine hygiene measures should be selected in accor- F o o d - g r a d e l u b r i c a n t s loreN GreeN | NorIA CorPorAtIoN BACk PAGe BAsICs A widespread misconception is that "food grade" indicates that it is acceptable for these lubricants to come in contact with food products. what You shoUld kNow ABoUt Food-grade lubricants

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