Food grade lubricant applicationin bakery industry

Large bakery plants which are highly automated uses conveyors , material handling
equipments and conveyors . Chain drives are frequently used in bakery plants for rollers ,
conveyors , band drives , blowers and chain for trays , bearings for rotating equipments .
These equipments are always in contact with food raw or finished . Chances are there
when they can contaminate the food items with lubricant if not done properly to avoid this
problem one can put food grade lubricant instead of conventional non- food grade
lubricant or oil. Equipments were we can expect a food contact are mixers , molders ,
dividers , oven , packing machines and accessories like oil spray , milk spray ,flour sifters
, screw conveyors , sugar grinders and biscuit grinders .spreading units , conches mixers ,
laminators , depositors and gauge rolls. Compressed air does carry lubricating oil with it .
special filters are attached at the output of the compressor to trap this oil. Oil free
compressor are available but a bit costlier than normal compressor. Seals and gaskets
generates leaks and spillages of lubricants .

These equipments need lubrication in intervals for smooth running and proper functioning
of machines .Now due new technology in lubrication and oil industry we can get food
grade lubricants . Here in Indian bakery plants it still to be popular . There are some
misconception about food grade lubricants .

A lubricant qualifies as food grade when, in the event of a contamination, it is present in
no more than 10 mg per kg of the foodstuff in question and must not cause any
physiological hazard or affect the food's odor and taste in any way. Food-grade
lubricants, such Shell Cassida, are special blends of base fluids and additives, and
should be approved by the US FDA and registered by NSF International in the H1

All major food safety management systems recommends using food grade lubricant in
food processing and packaging companies .HACCP,GMPS,BRC,ISO22000,1SO14000,

Major misconception s and facts about application of food grade in bakery plants.

Legend #1: Contamination by machinery lubricants with food and beverage during
manufacturing doesn't happen.

Fact #1: It happens more often than we think. Most contamination is detected before the
product leaves the plant - but some aren't.

Legend #2: I am pretty sure that the lubricants I use in my plant are all food grade.

Fact #2: Food grade lubricants are made from components approved by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) for incidental contact with food. You can verify whether
the lubricant is food grade or not by asking for a declaration of the formulation from the
lubricant supplier, or by checking whether the product is H1 registered with a third party
certifier such as NSF International.

Food-grade lubricants are readily available in the United States and a growing number of
food and beverage manufacturers are using them. Any food or beverage processor not
using food-grade lubricants is courting a huge risk. The FDA has set a "zero tolerance"
for contamination by non-food grade lubricants and also governs the components that
are allowed to make up a food grade lubricant. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
formerly approved lubricants as H1 ("for incidental food contact") and published the list in
what was commonly known as the "White Book." The USDA ceased this activity in 1998.
NSF International has since taken over the "White Book" and now registers lubricants as
H1 food grade. You can verify whether the lubricants in your plant are food grade by
checking the list of NSF H1 certified non-food compounds on

Legend #3: Food-grade lubricant performance is inferior to traditional lubricants. The
lubricants don't meet the demands of my applications.

Fact # 3: Synthetic food grade lubricants are designed to meet a wide range of
applications and generally outperform traditional food grade mineral oils.

Machinery used in food and beverage processing has many moving parts requiring
lubricants to maintain reliable and efficient operation. Food and beverage contamination
can occur from drips off chains, hydraulic hose failure, oil leaks from seals and
gearboxes, or a release of compressed air containing an oily mist. Using traditional non-
food grade industrial oils and greases is inappropriate in these settings.

Food-grade synthetic lubricants, such as Shell Cassida®, are odorless, tasteless and
generally outperform established mineral oil-based lubricants. They are specially
engineered for high performance remaining effective in the sub-zero cold of freezers and
the high heat of ovens. Their increased oxidation and thermal stability, compared to a
traditional mineral or white oil-based food grade lubricant, can extend equipment life and
reduce downtime, which lowers maintenance costs.

As the FDA restricts the type and concentration of additives allowed to enhance food-
grade lubricant performance, the critical performance factor lies in the lubricant's base oil
itself. Synthetic base oil has superior technical characteristics over traditional white
mineral oils.

Synthetic food-grade lubricants are designed for use in food and beverage
manufacturing applications, improving lubrication properties and performance and
offering excellent water resistance. Food-grade lubricants are harmless if accidentally
consumed in quantities below the maximum FDA-prescribed level of 10 ppm (10 parts per

Legend #4: Food-grade lubricants cost more than mineral oil products.

Fact #4: Synthetic food-grade lubricants actually cost less in the long run, because they
not only reduce overall maintenance costs, but also can reduce the risk of potential
liabilities from using non-food grade lubricants.

Synthetics do cost more than traditional mineral oils, but the initial cost of the synthetic
brings subsequent returns, against which a food grade mineral oil-based lubricant cannot
compete. Further, damages that could arise from not using H1-approved food-grade
lubricants are immeasurable.

According to the Japanese Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM), "up to 65% of
mechanical equipment failures can be attributed to some form of lubrication deficiency."2
Lubrication failures lead directly to production losses, so a robust lubrication program
plays an effective part in plant management.

Lubrication quality has a significant impact on equipment life. Field experience and case
studies show that food-grade synthetics have a longer product life and need to be
replaced less frequently in machinery. In many instances, results demonstrate up to four
times more life with synthetic oils.

Legend #5: None of my equipment actually requires food-grade lubricants for food safety.

Fact #5: Food grade lubricants should be used wherever there is a chance of incidental
contact with food or beverage products during manufacturing.

Lubricants used in manufacturing facilities can make their way into the food we eat. Oil
and grease droplets can seep from bearings and conveyors, can seamers, bakery ovens
and other critical points of operation.

Plant quality managers and maintenance managers should identify areas of potential
lubricant contamination. Companies can assist by conducting a Lubrication
Contamination Control Point (LCCP) survey, which forms part of the plant Food Safety
Plan. For example, a Shell LCCP Survey is based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control
Point (HACCP) principles and examines where the risks are in a plant, what they are and
what can be done about reducing and managing them.

Food and beverage processing plants must prevent accidental lubricant contamination,
which could potentially harm consumers and damage a company's brand and reputation.
Synthetic food-grade lubricants can help minimize these risks, adding a buffer against
contaminating our food supply.

Source :Shell Oil Co( Facts and Legend )

Major Food grade lubricants brands

  • Shell

  • Castrol

  • Mobil

  • FAG

  • Rocol

  • LPS

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