Food-grade lubricants are vital for maintaining your frozen beverage machine so that it operates seamlessly during summer. While this maintenance is not needed to be carried out daily, you should ensure that it is a part of your weekly cleaning routine. Getting your equipment lubricated is vital for maintaining the components in optimal condition as they are constantly moving and ensuring your drinks are at their best, lowering energy consumption.
Food-grade lubricants in Australia can include:
- Food Grade Greases
- Food Grade Aerosols
- Hydraulic Oils
- Gear Oils
- Compressor Oils
- Chain Oils
An oil or grease is certified as an NSF H1 food-grade lubricant when, in the occurrence of contamination, it does not contain over 10 mg/kg of the foodstuff in question and does not cause any physiological hazard or change the food’s smell and taste in any way. Since the early 1960s, food-grade lubricants have been in service. Before 30th September 1998, it was the responsibility of the USDA to provide approval and compliance of food-grade lubricants. The food-grade lubricants are classified into different categories, such as H1, H2 and H3, laid down by NSF International.
Here are some vital tips that you should know about them:
H1 Lubricant is categorised as edible, safe and non-toxic and contains formulas composed of vegetable stock or white oil. So if there is any accidental contact, it won’t impact the taste or colour of your drink.
FDA does not permit H2 to come in contact with food because of their petroleum bases. H2 designated lubricants can be used in areas where there is no possibility of contact with food, feed or pharmaceuticals.
Look out for a Synthetic Base
Synthetic-based lubricants are more pliable and perfect for devices operating at freezing temperatures. And mineral-based formulas are solely used for machines functioning at higher heat.
Appropriate Use Of Your Lubricant Is Vital
Lubricate the drive shaft and the moving parts but not all components that connect to the motor. And if you run out of your H1 food-safe lubricant, never make the mistake of using petroleum jelly. That is because petroleum jelly can break down, contaminate your drink and impair your machine.
Lubricant Can Keep Your Machine Operating Optimally
Cleaning and lubricating your machine is essential to curtail the risk of foodborne illness getting jammed inside when dealing with dairy products or equivalent. It also offers you an opportunity to ensure the inner mechanism of your device is in good condition and functioning appropriately.
Myths & Misconceptions
Several products in the food industry are referred to as food-grade, but it is vital to know that only NSF H1 registered lubricants are genuinely food-grade. And shoddy marketing claims are doing the rounds that convey white lithium grease is food-grade. Nonetheless, lithium-thickened grease is not recognised as food-grade H1 and does not adhere to NSF category code ‘H1’.
When looking for food-grade lubricants, always see the H1 category code. The common misconception is that food-grade lubricants do not perform well. It may be true in the past, but nowadays, food-grade lubricants function as well as non-food-grade lubricants; in many instances, they provide better performance than conventional lubricants.
Lubricant base stocks that are acceptable H1-approved can be mineral or synthetic:
- Mineral oils are classified into USP-type white mineral oil and technical white mineral oil.
- Synthetic lubricant base stocks are polyalphaolefins (PAO) or polyalkylene (PAG) – chiefly used in lubricants designed for extreme temperatures.
- And H1-approved grease-thickening agents that are acceptable are organo clay, polyurea, calcium sulfonate complex, aluminium complex and aluminium stearate.