Finding a way to deal with stubborn chicken fat is a problem for the poultry business, further compounded when food grade lubrication is mistaken for fat.
While the main focus at Lubrication Engineers (LE) South Africa is creating comprehensive lubrication solutions to help customers protect and manage their assets, the company’s holistic approach means it provides lubrication cleaning solutions too. Callum Ford, national marketing manager for LE South Africa, discusses how the company assists a client in the poultry business.
‘The customer runs a poultry processing plant, which means they need to use a food-grade lubricant,’ explains Ford. ‘We supply them with our H1 Quinplex Food Machinery Lubricant 4025 for their conveyers and chains.’
Ford says this product is a semi-synthetic grease suitable for a broad operating temperature range and robust enough to withstand moisture, high temperatures, extreme pressures and other harsh conditions found at food manufacturing plants. ‘It features an aluminium complex thickener base, which provides extreme water resistance, excellent mechanical stability, reversibility and tackiness,’ he says. Key additives include Quinplex, LE’s proprietary impact-resistant additive, and a rust and oxidation inhibitor.
Health and safety
The product is a tacky white substance, which unfortunately looks a lot like congealed chicken fat. ‘This customer found that excess lubricant was sometimes ending up on the floor. Because it does its job so well, they weren’t able to dislodge it by spraying it with water when cleaning the site, and they were getting in trouble with health and safety inspectors, who would mistake the lubricant for chicken fat,’ Ford says. ‘We needed to come up with a solution to clean up the lubricant.’
LE South Africa recommended its oil-eating kit, together with an environmentally-friendly industrial cleaning product that the company supplies. Oil Spill Eater II (OSE II) is supplied by LE South Africa in ready-to-use kits, complete with a 16-litre backpack sprayer. ‘The cleaning staff simply spray on OSE II, which contains nutrients that attract indigenous bacteria,’ he explains. ‘These then rapidly multiply, speeding up the natural spill remediation process. In nature, bacteria release enzymes and biosurfactants that attack the spill. The biosurfactants emulsify the spill, breaking it down to be used as a food source for the bacteria. The end result of this process is CO2 and water.’
This oil-eating kit is being used in the chicken plant in combination with LE’s Greentastic Industrial Cleaner, a concentrated liquid solution intended for industrial cleaning uses, including oil and grease. This environmentally friendly water-based formula is not only phosphate-free, but completely phosphorus-free, making it a better choice for the environment.
‘Greentastic is effective in a broad range of heavy-duty applications, gentle enough to be used as a general-purpose cleaner, and it can be used with solvents for degreasing,’ says Ford. “It’s residue-free and non-caustic, non-acidic and non-flammable. Together, OSE II and Greentastic have proved to be the perfect clean-up combination for our customers in the food sector, and in particular at this poultry facility. There’s no more confusion about whether the substance on the floor is lubricant or chicken fat, because this cleaning solution ensures there’s nothing left on the floor post-cleaning.”