Food grade lubricants are used to lubricate the machines that manufacture food, beverages, medicines/supplements, cosmetics and pet/animal food. These are considered safe for incidental contact with products that will be consumed by humans or animals. Most food grade lubricants are formulated with white oil or natural oil base stocks and mixed with non-toxic additives.
There are additional requirements for some food grade lubricants and they are subject to regulation by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and/or the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation). Lubricants going into facilities with specific requirements may need to be Kosher, Pareve or Halal certified. Food grade lubricants are classified into 3 categories:
- H-1 – Lubricants with incidental food contact
- H-2 – Lubricants used in food plants that don’t have food contact
- H-3 – Proprietary Substances/Release Agents