Food Grade

Glossary Of Food Grade Lubrication Need-To-Knows

What are Food Grade Lubricants?

For many years now the industry has become increasingly aware of consumer safety, which is why this aspect is now receiving the utmost attention in every production process.

Companies in the producing industries test materials intended for consumer products for health hazards such as carcinogenic effects, risks of poisoning through prolonged exposure and even minor discomforts such as skin irritations.

Especially the industries supplying food, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs and other critical consumption products often have production units in which contact between lubricants and the product cannot be entirely avoided, but can ruin a whole production batch when it does occur. This is where the producer applies lubricants which are non-toxic and generally non-hazardous when accidentally consumed in trace amounts. These are the Food Grade Lubricants.


Where are Food Grade Lubricants applied?

The application of Food Grade Lubricants are manifold. To name just a few:

  • Compressors which can blow out small amounts of oil with the compressed air
  • Chain of conveyor belts which can drip lubricant onto underlying machinery
  • Gears of production machines which may lose gear lubricant while close to the product

These examples should serve to show that accidental food contact may occur in many different stages of food production and is often near impossible to rule out completely.
In these cases the alternative to a Food Grade Lubricant would be a monitoring system which can sense trace amounts of lubricant (down to under 10 ppm or 0.01%) in every stage of production. This is surely possible to realise on the technical side. But its economical soundness is questionable, to say the least, when the right lubricant eliminates this problem before it even occurs.


Which standards and certification procedures are these?

H1 is a classification for lubricants that could have incidental food contact. These products are formulated with components and dosage levels that do not pose a threat to consumer health when consumed. This should prevent risks towards human health and fits producer’s HACCP programmes. However, the maximum allowable contamination level is 10 ppm (or even less with some products), i.e. if more than trace amounts of the oil come into contact with the food produced, it is no longer suitable for commercial purpose even though the lubricant was H1-confirm.

The NSF (in the USA) and the InS (a European company) are the two currently available bodies that provide H1 registration. Both are private-sector organisations and compare the lubricant components against the list attached to the US FDA 21 CFR 178.3570 code. This is the internationally accepted standard which decides whether a component is suitable for food contact and defines the appropriate dosage levels.

ISO 21469 is a hygiene standard that describes the manufacturing, labelling and handling aspects of Food Grade Lubricants. An auditor checks whether the hygienic requirements described in the standard are fulfilled. Renewal audits must be conducted on a yearly basis.

ISO 9001 is a widespread management and accountability standard which must also be met and certified to obtain ISO 21469 certification.

Kosher means “suitable” in the context of foodstuffs prepared in accordance with the Jewish food laws. These laws prohibit consumption of certain animal species. In the lubricant industry the lubricants are subjected to a technical and religious certification process, which investigates the possibility of animal contamination. An auditor will check that all components used are Kosher and that there is no possibility of cross-contamination by non-Kosher components used in the same production equipment. Renewal audits must be conducted on a yearly basis.

Halal is an Arabic expression meaning “permissible”. It is used to describe food which is deemed suitable according to the Islamic laws. A variety of substances are forbidden (haram) according to different verses in the Koran. An auditor will check that all components used are Halal and that there is not possibility of cross-contamination by non-Halal components used in the same production equipment. Renewal audits must be conducted on a yearly basis.


“ We want to promote the highest food safety for all food processing and packaging industries in Malaysia by promoting Halalube® to be the #1 most preferred H1 & HALAL certified food grade lubricants in the World. “


“We shall supply Halalube® in most affordable prices, most readily available, convenient pack sizes and highest performance certified food grade lubricants to all food processing and packaging industries. We shall continue to educate the industries on the importance of food safety as well as providing maximum protection to their equipment and machinery.”