Food safety precautions and regulations need to extend to every component in the food and beverages processing environment. This includes the lubricants used in machinery. Callum Ford, national marketing manager at Lubrication Engineers (LE) South Africa, explains that the food and beverage industry requires specialised lubrication solutions that consider not only the complexity of the equipment, but also specific operating environment challenges. Most food processing machinery requires lubrication for bearings, gears, slides or chains. Lubrication solutions in this environment need to be able to protect against wear, friction, corrosion and oxidation. They have to withstand moisture, hot and cold conditions, shock loading and impact. They also need to comply with non-toxicity regulations. In addition they have to resist degradation from any chemicals in the environment, from the pH of the food components themselves to chemicals used in sanitation and cleaning processes. They also cannot allow for any microorganism growth.
“As the licensed distributor of LE products for southern Africa, all our food grade products are certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International,” Ford says. “Our LE Quinplex additive makes many LE lubricants an easy and appropriate choice for food applications, while our USDA and NSF certified greases are well suited for applications in sealing and waterproofing machinery. All LE H1 lubricants – except for H1 Machine Oil – are also certified Halal by the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, as well as Kosher Pareve by the Orthodox Union.”
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