Food Grade Lubricants: Oil & Grease

Health and safety are priorities for drink, food, and drug manufacturers. Cleanliness and hygiene standards on the shop floor are as crucial as in the hospital operating room. And for ensuring health safety in food or medicine production knowing about food grade lubricant grease is mandatory.

The food grade lubrication oils and greases are NSF-HI registered for use in the food processing environment. Besides this, you can use them as lubricants in food processing plants, bakeries, food preparation, Pharmaceuticals, and more.

Lubricant maintenance and leakage are unavoidable in all industry parts. Lubricants don’t discriminate against tools they come into contact with. Hence there are additional challenges in choosing the proper oil for the food processing and pharmaceutical industry.

lubricating oil food processing

What Is a Food-Grade Lubricant?

Food-grade lubricant is the name given to any industrial lubricant. And it’s thought to be safe for accessory contact that animals or humans consume.

Accordingly, food-grade lubricants protect a machine from friction, oxidation, corrosion, and wear. Furthermore, they perform to transfer energy, disperse heat, and resist degradation. When exposed to water, food products, and processed chemicals, they must perform.

Food grade lubricant oil comply with NSF, CFIA, USDA, and FDA guidelines. The reason is that they want to protect their factory workers. To manufacture all of that items, these food-grade lubricants are essential. Additionally, for incidental use, it’s only safe.

Accidental exposure is usually inadvertent and can occur through drops, contact, or spillage. Also, post-contact lubricant cannot exceed ten parts per million to be considered adjunctive. If traditional lubricants are used during food handling or packaging, the possibility of grease and oil leakage will be a concern.

Actually, food-grade lubricants are odorless, tasteless, and formulated to be resistant to plastic and different packaging containers. In addition, they must dissolve sugars and tolerate erosion from chemicals, water, and food products.

What Are Food Grade Lubricants Made of?

Petroleum-based food grade lubricants come from highly refined, tasteless, colorless, and non-staining mineral oils. They come from white mineral oil: either technical or USP-type white mineral oils. Like other lubricants food grade lubricants also consist of base oil, additives, viscosity modifiers or improvers.

Synthetic food grade lubricants usually come from either polyalphaolefin (PAO). It has higher oxidation stability and a more comprehensive range of operating temperatures. Also, it comes from polyalkylene glycol (PAG), which is commonly used in high-temperature atmospheres.

Silicones are sometimes utilized to make H1 lubricants, but they must have a 200 CST or higher viscosity. H1 lubricants have the most elevated oxidation and thermal stability. H1 lubricants don’t have any heavy metals such as lead and mercury, arsenic, carcinogens, mutagens, or teratogens.

Read Also:
Silicone Oil Vs Grease
PTFE vs Silicone Lubricant: Which is Better for Your Needs?

When Are Food-grade Lubricants Needed?

There isn’t any particular type of tool that needs a food-grade lubricant. Instead, based on the application, this lubricant is necessary. Any application with the potential for intentional or incidental direct contact with food needs food-grade lubricants.

Most people who work in food production, packaging, and processing know H1, H2, and H3. Generally speaking, the USDA built these designations and represented different classes of food-grade lubricants.

Food Grade Lubricants Categories:

These lubricants are products applied in applications where contact with a drink or food items may occur. These items must do all of the duties of regular oils. And it also must fulfill specific guidelines for safety. Nevertheless, the three different food-grade lubricants categories are:

H1 Food Grade Lubricant

Adequately, it’s what people typically mean when they say “food-grade lubricant .”Food content should not overcome ten parts per million (0.001%). H1 lubricant formulations may contain special thickeners, base stocks, and additives specified by FDA regulations provided at 21 CFR 178.3750.

Additives to H1 must meet the requirements of NSF additives. Undoubtedly, they must be tasteless, colorless, and odorless also. All InterFlon food-grade lubricants fulfill the qualification. H1 food-grade lubricants are suitable for use in food applications. Generally, the amount of oil used should be minimal to obtain the desired effect.

H2 Food Grade Lubricants

For machine parts and systems, H2 lubricants are used. These types of oils only come for using closed systems and machine parts and never touch any food product.

H3 Soluble Oils

They are used on materials directly contacting food, usually for cleaning and rust prevention. Since 1999, NSF has managed the international food-grade lubricants’ registration and certification process. Subsequently, H3 Soluble Oils are mixed with a white oil base stock and a limited approved thickener number.

Choosing a Food-Grade Lubricant

Selecting which lubrication process to use can be difficult. Regardless, it’s essential to consult with a food grade lubricant supplier who understands your requirements and equipment. Usually, these lubricants increase and protect significant assets from ailments like corrosion, rust, and abrasion.

Apart from this, eliminating the risk of food contamination is crucial. Notably, it’s essential to consider further restrictions like religious influences. Both halal and kosher diets have food processing rules, potentially limiting the use of particular lubricants. When choosing your supplier, they must know your needs and make products accordingly.

Furthermore, they analyze the oil and answer your questions honestly and quickly. Nonetheless, if you want, you can choose CRC food-grade lubricant from the long food grade lubricants list. Here below, we have explained CRC food grade lubricant. Have a look:

CRC Food Grade Lubricant:

CRC food grade lubricants are manufactured to conform to the highest standards of relevant food authorities. It includes NZ AsureQuality, MPI, and NSF International.

Likewise, CRC Industries follows strict guidelines in research, development, and manufacturing; professionals prefer the CRC food grade range.

You can check your manufacturer manual without this product to know about food grade lubricants substitute.

Final Word

Understanding the difference between H1, H2, and H3 food-grade lubricants is essential. In fact, for food safety and machine dependability, selecting the correct lubricant is critical. The NSF website provides lubricant requirements for food-grade products as an additional resource.

Most importantly, they also provide a free-access list of certified food-grade lubricants on this Website. On the other hand, we hope you can get most of the information you need from here. Thanks for reading this article with patience.


I am Engr. Z Eusuf Lubricant Specialist, Mechanical Engineer & has been working with engine lubricants for a long time and knows what makes them work best. I can help you find the right oil for your needs, and I have tips on how to keep your engine running at its best.