Palm oil producers are increasingly gaining the attention of many palm oil users on the potential contamination of palm oil during its extraction and manufacturing process. One of the many potential sources of contamination is the lubricants used in the machines during the extraction and processing of palm oil. Even small traces of these mineral oil hydrocarbons in food, so-called MOSH / MOAH contamination, can potentially cause an adverse effect on human health. Leading food manufacturers are therefore increasingly pushing for the replacement of mineral oil-based products with H1 lubricants (food-grade lubricants used in food-processing where there is the possibility of incidental food contact) in the machines and plants of all production steps involved in processing palm oil.

High-performance H1 lubricants

One way in which traces of mineral oils such as chemical compounds MOSH (mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons) and MOAH (mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons) can enter the food chain is through the production process and the process aids used, including lubricants selected for the production of food and food packaging. Therefore, to address the issue of food safety and contamination risk, the need for high quality, H1 lubricants are necessary.

As a manufacturer of specialty lubricants, food safety has long been a focus for Klüber Lubrication. The tribology expert has developed numerous lubricants that meet the highest hygiene standards. Klüber Lubrication's H1 lubricants are in compliance with 21 CFR 178.3570 issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means they are designed for incidental contact with food products. In case of unavoidable food contact, according to FDA regulations, the amount of lubricant in food must not exceed 1 ppm for silicone oils and 10 ppm for all other base oils. Very small quantities of modern, innovative high-performance lubricants are sufficient to achieve the desired lubricating effect and thus reduce the risk of contamination.

Proper lubricant management system

In addition to using H1 lubricants, the use of a proper lubricant management system is also important to minimise the risk of cross contaminations. This system helps to prevent either an over or under-lubrication situation, prevent oil leakages and track lubricant consumption to ensure the right amount of lubricants are used. Not forgetting that the right lubricant selection reduces the volume of lubricant used, reduces wear, and coupled with good lubricant handling practices such as mechanical design change to the drip tray, prevents lubricant from dripping on the food product.

High-performance lubricants pay off

There is a persistent prejudice that H1 lubricants are expensive and lags behind mineral oil-based products in terms of performance. However, using them pays off because these modern specialty lubricants are developed for specific applications and are therefore characterised by their enormous efficiency. Modern H1 lubricants increase the overall equipment effectiveness while reducing the risk of food contamination.

These specialty synthetic lubricants offer these potential value-added benefits:

  • Reduction in lubricant consumption
  • Extended re-lubrication intervals
  • Energy savings gained by optimising re-lubrication intervals
  • Prevents downtime
  • Reduction in overall operating costs

H1 synthetic gear oils

For an instance, with its superior temperature performance, using H1 synthetic gear oil shows a significant improvement in efficiency and reduction of wear. Thermal test here shows considerably lower oil temperatures when using specialty synthetic gear oils, which indicates a significantly higher efficiency than standard gear oil. Synthetic gear oils based on polyalphaolefin show a considerably lower gear friction coefficient than mineral oils due to their particular molecular structure. As a result, reduced energy consumption, extended lifetime of gearbox and reduced maintenance cost can be achieved.

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