Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo

Non-food grade lubricant


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

Brothbro

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 48 posts
  • 11 thanks
9
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Aimlessly browsing wikipedia and the internet at large

Posted 06 April 2022 - 10:54 PM

Hello,

 

My company uses a number of vacuum pumps for our freeze-dryers. The pumps use a non-food grade oil, and are situated on the processing floor. However, the design and placement of the pumps is such that oil cannot come into contact with the food during operation. As I understand it, the pump is a closed system and no oil is discharged. 

 

Speaking with the pump manufacturer, at this time they don't have any food-grade alternative for this pump oil. Of course, they don't recommend using any vacuum pump oil other than their own brand either :giggle: Given no alternative, am I correct in the assessment that the use of non-food grade oil on these vacuum pumps cannot result in "incidental contact", given that the supply of oil is kept off the production floor and the pumps themselves are enclosed systems?

 

I spoke with the pump manufacturer and their stance was that in 20+ years of working with these pumps on freeze-drying equipment, no one has taken issue with the food-grade status of the oil...Maybe I'm worried about nothing!



Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 19,504 posts
  • 5408 thanks
1,342
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 07 April 2022 - 04:04 AM

Hello,

 

My company uses a number of vacuum pumps for our freeze-dryers. The pumps use a non-food grade oil, and are situated on the processing floor. However, the design and placement of the pumps is such that oil cannot come into contact with the food during operation. As I understand it, the pump is a closed system and no oil is discharged. 

 

Speaking with the pump manufacturer, at this time they don't have any food-grade alternative for this pump oil. Of course, they don't recommend using any vacuum pump oil other than their own brand either :giggle: Given no alternative, am I correct in the assessment that the use of non-food grade oil on these vacuum pumps cannot result in "incidental contact", given that the supply of oil is kept off the production floor and the pumps themselves are enclosed systems?

 

I spoke with the pump manufacturer and their stance was that in 20+ years of working with these pumps on freeze-drying equipment, no one has taken issue with the food-grade status of the oil...Maybe I'm worried about nothing!

Hi Brothbro,

 

Ideally I suppose the pump would not be on the Production Floor.

Technically  yr risk assessment may be debatable, eg From Google -

If you notice that your vacuum pump is leaking oil, the seals are probably worn out and need replacing. Not only will that fix the leak problem, new seals will also allow the pump to maintain the appropriate oil levels, which in turn reduces the need for frequent changing.

 

Strictly speaking, "food grade" oil is probably for most lubricants a misnomer. However there are various, food contact "capable" NSF designated Grades of so-called Food Grade Lubricants. H1 is the appropriate Grade for incidental contact capability.

 

Afaik there are numerous H1 Grade vacuum pump oils. Just try Googling.

 

Maybe consider acquiring an Independent 2nd opinion as to availability of an alternative. Although installing a replacement oil may not be a trivial task.

 

Can try -

 

https://www.machiner...rade-lubricants

https://www.machiner...9/h1-food-grade


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Thanked by 1 Member:

Brothbro

    Grade - AIFSQN

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 48 posts
  • 11 thanks
9
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Aimlessly browsing wikipedia and the internet at large

Posted 07 April 2022 - 05:04 PM

Thanks Charles,

 

It is certainly true that there are many food grade vacuum pump oils available, the tricky part for me is understanding which will work well with our machinery...I suppose if we compared specs on the current oil vs a food grade alternative, we'd be able to find alternatives. Wish we could just move the pump, but unfortunately that isn't an option for us. Thanks for your links to the machinery lubrication website, this organization has lots of good info. 



jkoratich712

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 94 posts
  • 17 thanks
18
Good

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Food, books, bakeries, coffee, HACCP, sanitation

Posted 07 April 2022 - 05:34 PM

We have one piece of equipment that, similar to your situation, could not use food grade oil. We had tried and it didn't perform well. There isn't a possibility of incidental contact with the product, but it is on the production floor. Our risk assessment ended up showing that inadvertent use of that oil elsewhere in the facility. Due to that, the oil was kept separate and secure so that only key individuals could access it. 



Thanked by 1 Member:

Charles.C

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Moderator
  • 19,504 posts
  • 5408 thanks
1,342
Excellent

  • Earth
    Earth
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:SF
    TV
    Movies

Posted 07 April 2022 - 06:53 PM

We have one piece of equipment that, similar to your situation, could not use food grade oil. We had tried and it didn't perform well. There isn't a possibility of incidental contact with the product, but it is on the production floor. Our risk assessment ended up showing that [ there was a significant risk of] inadvertent use of that oil elsewhere in the facility. Due to that, the oil was kept separate and secure so that only key individuals could access it. 

Hi jkoratich,

 

Re ^^^(blue) - Missing words ?.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Hoosiersmoker

    Grade - PIFSQN

  • IFSQN Principal
  • 581 posts
  • 204 thanks
95
Excellent

  • United States
    United States

Posted 08 April 2022 - 01:16 PM

The last place you should ask about using different lubricants is the manufacturer who will tell you that you need to buy the oil from them, at a substantial mark-up from who they get it from, I might add! The ISO numbers should tell you if the lube is compatible. Go to a reputable lubricant manufacturer / distributor and give them all of your pump information and the ISO information from the current lube. The only real drawback is the mfg might hold that it will void the warranty.



Thanked by 1 Member:



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users