AUSTRALIA – With recall concerns on the rise amongst manufacturers, Queensland-based company Candan Industries has taken steps to expand their INOX food-grade lubricant range in an effort to greatly reduce the risk of accidental contamination.

Candan Industries is one of the biggest Australian manufacturers of lubricants.

The Australia and New Zealand Food Statistics board revealed that 55 per cent of product recalls were caused by chemical, foreign-body, or biological contamination, between 2008 and 2017 – resulting in millions of dollars in profit losses to manufacturers.

Businesses also risk falling out of favour with their customers when a recall is announced, which is why careful consideration must be made in the management of chemicals, greases and lubricants that are used in a food and beverage processing environment.

As a national distributor of INOX products, Bearing Service Pty Ltd (BSC) is working in conjunction with managers and representatives to promote their range of food-safe oils and greases in the food and beverage sector across Australia.

“INOX has three key product formulas developed for maintenance of machinery in food and beverage plants: MX3 FG, MX5 and MX6. The MX3 FG is a multi-purpose penetrating oil spray, ideal for threads and switches for protection from corrosion,” explains Steve Keown, BSC National Product Manager for Lubricants.

The MX5 is an extreme pressure lubricant that contains Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) for high load applications including high-speed drilling and machining. While the MX6 is a food-grade bearing grease that has a PAO-based oil and clay thickener which is excellent for bearings, chains, sprockets, geared joints, hinge and bushes.

“INOX’s food-grade range are all NSF Certified with a H1 rating, for maximum protection of the produced goods; and in some cases, we have found these lubricants can enhance the performance of a piece of machined equipment,” said Keown.

USDA regulations

Over the last few years, the Australian Department of Agriculture has tightened up on standards and regulations for industrial products that will be utilized in the food manufacturing and processing sectors, aligning more closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) regulatory codes.

The USDA mandated food-grade designation for an H1 product means the approval and registration of a lubricant depends on the product’s ingredients.

If a lubricant is intended for use in food processing environments where there is a risk of accidental contact, the formula must contain only the approved base stocks, additives, and thickeners listed in the USDA Code of Federal Regulations item: 21 CFR 178.3750. Lubricants are mixtures of base oils and low levels of additives.

Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Advisor at Candan Industries, Charmaine Bondeson, informed that the development of INOX H1 products was the direct result of end-user requirements that were previously being unmet within the market.

“To develop these products, some of the requirements we had to consider were that the product had to be non-staining and contain no dyes. It also had to be very low in aromatics,” said Bondeson.

But the real point of difference, she explains, is the inclusion of the PTFE ingredient which works to reduce wear, heat, and friction on a machined component, and is completely nontoxic.

The INOX MX3 FG was introduced in 2008 as a low-odour equivalent to the original MX3. The MX3 FG is odourless, tasteless, allergen-free, and NZ MPI C15 certified.

“The MX3 can be used in food processing plants, beverage filling lines, meat abattoirs, canneries, bakeries, cold storage facilities, and on electrical components, parts, and equipment. MX3 FG can be used wherever a low odour food grade lubricant is required,” said Bondeson.

The INOX MX5 has formulaic similarities to the MX3 FG but with the added PTFE as an extreme pressure friction modifier. A slick, anti-corrosion, anti-moisture liquid lubricant, it was formulated with the high-grade friction modifier PTFE to handle high speeds, high loads, constant friction, and high temperatures, according to Bondeson. It is also non-toxic, low odour, and totally food safe.

“MX5 can be used in a variety of situations where previously two or more products may have been required. It is suitable on applications that require less friction, or are subject to extreme temperature fluctuations, across the industrial sector and significantly for food and beverage processing plants,” said Bondeson.

Over and above, INOX has been addressing the concerns of manufacturers and achieved the aim of meeting and exceeding their requirements for avoiding incidental food contamination and product recalls.

INOX’s close relationship with BSC has resulted in close collaboration with BSC sales and technical representatives. In turn, BSC sales representatives have been working to spread awareness about food-grade lubricant regulations and standards to operators and procurement managers. 

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Safety Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food safety, quality and compliance. SUBSCRIBE HERE