Food-grade lubricants: their significance explained
Industry expert Andreas Adam answers some essential questions.
The significance of food grade lubricants can often by underestimated. What is their value in safe and effective food production?
Food grade lubricants, or lubricants for incidental food contact H1, are crucial in any HACCP. Mechanised food production is commonplace and any equipment used in that production needs to be lubricated. What any operator of such equipment wants to avoid is an undetected leakage, which can cause problems for manufacturers and consumers. There is a particular risk that smaller leakages might remain undetected for some time and, should this occur, if a non-H1 product has been used this would necessitate an immediate recall of foodstuffs. While repairs should never be postponed, when the lubricant (mineral oil or similar) represents a volume of less than ten parts per million in the food, repairs can be done without alerting consumers. Leakages can originate from many sources – from faulty seals, a pin-sized hole in a heater, air coming from the compressor and so on. For that reason, full-plant H1 lubricants provide extra support for a plant’s existing HACCP. Measuring and registering top-up should be part of the plan.
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