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Conveyor belt using lubricated chains in food processing factory

Food grade additives for chain oils

Food grade lubricants are used during the processing, production, manufacture and packaging of food products. Lubricating equipment used in the food processing industry presents a unique challenge. The lubricant must first provide the basic desired technical performance, but secondly must comply with acceptable industry standards on the use of approved base fluids and additives. 

Lubricants formulators are limited in the the types and amounts of additives that can be used. Today the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) manages a lubricant evaluation programme wherein base oils and additives can be certified and approved for use in formulations where food contact is a consideration. NSF registered products are listed in the ‘White Book’ for food grade lubricants. 

We supply a high-performance range of ingredients for use food grade chain oils and which feature in the 'White Book' for food grade lubricants.  
Lubricated industrial conveyor belt operated by oiled chains in a food processing factory

Types of food contact lubricants

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created 3 original food-grade classifications which are still used, today.

  • H1 lubricants (finished lubricants) are used in food processing environments where there is the possibility of incidental food contact. They differ from edible food or food ingredients

  • HX-1 lubricants are ingredients used in the formulation of H1 lubricants

  • H2 lubricants are used on equipment and machine parts where there is no possibility of contact with food

  • H3 lubricants are typically edible oils, used to prevent rust on hooks, trolleys and similar equipment, and where there will be direct food contact.

We have a range of high-performance Priolube™ ester base fluids and lubricity additives which are suitable for use as HX-1 ingredients. 

Additives for incidental food contact lubricants

Our food grade chain oil esters are highly versatile and can provide special performance benefits: 

  • They allow for formulation of lubricants in the viscosity range 68 – 220 mm²/s
  • They are safe for use in food operations
  • They provide high oxidative stability
  • They have low volatility below 230°C
  • They leave low deposits upon decomposition
  • They provide excellent lubricity.

Our synthetic esters help to deliver improved productivity through reduced downtime for equipment repairs, lower maintenance costs and prolonged equipment lifetime. 

We also have a wide range of water soluble and insoluble polyalkylene glycols (PAGs), which are particularly suited as carriers for solid lubricants in high temperature applications such as ovens. 

At elevated temperatures (>600°C), PAGs will evaporate cleanly, without the formation of harmful residues. 

If you don’t find what you are looking for, contact us.  

Brochure: Food grade chain oils

Lubricated industrial conveyor belt operated by oiled chains in a food processing factory
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image of man with regulatory food safety clipboard

Require a food grade lubricant additive?

We can help you meet regulatory demands

Many of our products are designed for use in the processing, production, manufacture, and packaging of food products. It is therefore essential that they not only provide the required technical performance, but also comply with industry and national regulations for food contact. Read more to find out about our regulatory information.
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