FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you need help, we have a list of frequently asked questions and answers. Click a topic below to view the question and answer.
1. FOOD GRADE LUBRICANTS
Q. What are MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants?
MOSIL food-grade lubricants are potentially indirect food additives, as they may incidentally come into contact with food items due to leaks, spillages or faults in equipment. All lubricants used in food processing and packaging plants must be food grade.
Q. When is a lubricant food grade?
A lubricant qualifies as food grade when, in the event of a contamination, it is present in no more than 10 mg per kg of the foodstuff in question and must not cause any physiological hazard or affect the food's odour and taste in any way. Food-grade lubricants are special blends of base fluids and additives, and should conform to the erstwhile US FDA standards and registered by NSF International in the H1 category.
Q. How safe are MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants in food production?
All products in the MOSIL Food Grade range comply with stringent international standards for food grade lubricants handed down by the NSF International (H1). They are produced in line with the Good Manufacturing Practice and as part of ISO 9001.
Q. What are the regulatory standards for food lubricants?
In the absence of any international system to regulate food grade lubricants, the industry has adopted the strict requirements of the US system as international best practice.
Q. What is the US system and does MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants comply?
All products in the MOSIL Food Grade range comply with the NSF International (H1), the standard which has replaced previous USDA systems for lubricants where incidental contact with food is likely. MOSIL Food Grade products also comply with the technical qualifications published in the Federal Register, FDA 21 CFR 178.3570, as well as with FDA standards for raw materials used in food grade products (such as lubricants) within the United States, including imports and exports. In addition, MOSIL Food Grade products are manufactured according to the Good Manufacturing Practice and as part of ISO 9001.
Q. Does MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants have USDA H1 approval?
There is no obligation for lubricant manufacturers to adhere to the now-defunct USDA H1 rules, nor does the USDA endorse or recognise any past authorizations for food-grade lubricants.
Q. What has replaced USDA H1 approval?
NSF (National Sanitary Foundation) International took on the procedures and systems of the USDA H1. It continues to manage the USDA List, which is now known as the NSF White Book of Proprietary Substances and Nonfood Compounds. NSF registration procedures are identical to the former USDA rules, including the classification H1 and H2 products.
Q. On what basis is NSF International H1 approval allocated?
Lubricants are made only from components that have been evaluated and approved by the US FDA and declared safe for use in food processing preparations. The maximum concentration of a lubricant allowed in food is 10ppm. Manufacturers of food grade lubricants described by FDA regulations must also follow Good Manufacturing Practice as a specific quality system.
Q. What is the HACCP system of regulatory standards?
The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System (HACCP) dates back to the 1960s, when it was developed by the American Space Agency, NASA, in order to make risk-free food for astronauts. NASA identified points where contamination is likely to occur so that appropriate process controls could be implemented during production. That system is now federally mandated in the USA for use as a critical contamination prevention program under the Food Safety Initiative in seafood, meat and poultry processing facilities. The EU also employs the HACCP system to regulate all EU companies involved in handling foodstuffs. In India although HACCP system is not mandatory, good manufacturing units have started adopting to HACCP systems.
Q. What is the legislation on the longevity of food-grade lubricants?
It should be noted that neither the FDA, NSF International nor the EU has made any statements with respect to food-grade lubricants in use. MOSIL recommends that, in the absence of relevant local legislation, the maximum amount of contamination of food itself by a food grade lubricant should be 10 ppm (10 mg/kg) – the same limit set by the FDA for all non-food compounds, regardless of age. At concentrations below this limit MOSIL believes that MOSIL Food Grade Lubricants should not impart undesirable taste, odour or colour to food, nor should they cause adverse health effects.
Q. What is penetration of a grease?
Penetration of a grease is the relative thickness of the grease.
Q. How much grease should be put in a bearing?
It is recommended to only fill 33% of the free space of an antifriction bearing. As an exception, for low speed and highly dust prone application, one may fill upto 100% free space in the bearing.
Please note that over - filling of the bearing leads to more failure of the bearings as compared to under - filling of the bearings.
Q. The viscosity of the base oil available from your end is reported at 40ºC and 100ºC. How do we know the base oil viscosity of the grease at our application operating temperature?
The viscosity at various temperatures can be calculated using the ASTM Standard Viscosity - Temperature Chart (ASTM D341-03). One may use various utilities available on the Public Domain of World Wide Web to calculate the viscosity at a particular temperature provided you know either the viscosity at a particular temperature and viscosity index or viscosity at a another temperature.
Q. How can I determine the service temperature range of a grease?
The upper service temperature is determined by ascertaining the evaporation loss and the thermal stability of the base oil, dropping point of the grease and the maximum servicable temperature of the additives incorporated. The lower service temperature is ascertained by testing the low temperature torque of the grease and pour point of the base fluid. The temperature range indicated in the product bulletin is only meant to be an indicator for the actual use. The real temperature range should be determined by considering other factors like operating condition, atmosphere and type of application.
Q. The colour of the grease has changed within short duration of putting it in application. Should I throw away the grease as the quality does not seem to be OK?
NO. There are few additives incorporated in few types of grease that change the colour due to change in the surface chemistry immediately (or within short duration) on coming in contact with rotating surfaces (dynamic load condition). This change is colour is within the known behaviour of the grease and does not affect the performance of the grease adversely (or in any other manner).
You may continue to use the grease till its intended life. (You may contact us for any further clarification you require w.r.t. a particular product of MOSIL.)
Q. Is it common to observe oil seperation in greases?
"Bleeding" or Oil seperation is a naturally occuring phenomena and should not be construed as a problem. The storage temperature in excess of 45 deg C accelerates oil seperation. The excess oil can be safely stirred back into the grease within the container. It has also been observed that the higher penetration greases (Lower Consistency) tend to have more oil bleeding as compared to Thicker greases.
Q. The colour of grease has become darker as compared to when i first opened the container. Should i throw away the grease?
No. It is perfectly alright to use the grease.
Few greases (and oils) contain additives that darken by exposure to sunlight, air, temperature. The colour would usually change to slightly darker shade (darker brown in most cases). Sufficient care has been taken to ensure that this change in colour has no effect on the performance of the product.
3. HACCP & LUBRICATION
Quality, hygiene and product liability concerns are extremely important factors in the food and beverage industry. The Critical Control Points (CCP’s) that are identified through the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) system help to ensure quality and safety by eliminating any sources of contamination.
Q.What is Viscosity of Oil?
Viscosity of an oil is a relative thickness that determines the flowability of the oil.
Q. What is Flash Point of an Oil?
Flash Point of an oil is the temperature at which 5% of the oil starts generating enough vapors to ignite the oil in presence of an external source.
Q. The colour of the oil has changed within short duration of putting it in application. Should I throw away the oil as the quality does not seem to be OK?
NO. There are few additives incorporated in few types of oils (more common in case of gear oils) that change the colour due to change in the surface chemistry immediately (or within short duration) on coming in contact with rotating surfaces (dynamic load condition). This change is colour is within the known behaviour of the oil and does not affect the performance of the oil adversely (or in any other manner).
You may continue to use the oil till its intended life. (You may contact us for any further clarification you require w.r.t. a particular product of MOSIL)
Q. What is the best place to draw sample of oil for further testing and analysis?
The best place to draw a sample of oil is from the downstream of an any application. Ideally one should draw as many samples as possible so as to get the most accurate analysis done. e.g. For large lubricating or gear oil systems, draw the sample from the oil in circulation and from the bottom of the sump / reservoir. In hydraulic systems, draw a sample from the header tank, downstream of filters etc.
5. SHELF LIFE & STORAGE
Q.What are the conditions that affect storage of Lubricants?
The storage environment greatly affects the shelf life of lubricants and greases. Conditions, which should be monitored, are:
Temperature: both high heat (greater than 45°C) and extreme cold (less than –20°C) can affect lubricant stability. Heat increases the rate of oil oxidation, which may lead to formation of deposits and viscosity increase. Cold can result in wax and possible sediment formation. In addition, alternating exposure to heat and cold may result in air being drawn into drums, which may result in moisture contamination. A temperature range of –20°C to 45°C is acceptable for storage of most lubricating oils and greases. Ideally the storage temperature range should be from 0°C to 25°C.
Light: light may change the color and appearance of lubricants. Lubricants should be kept in their original metal or plastic containers.
Water: water may react with some lubricant additives, sometimes forming insoluble matter. Water can also promote microbial growth at the oil/water interface. Lubricants should be stored in a dry location, preferably inside.
Particulate Contamination: drums and pails should not be stored in areas where there is a high level of airborne particles. This is especially important when a partially used container is stored.
Atmospheric Contamination: oxygen and carbon dioxide can react with lubricants and affect their viscosity and consistency. Keeping lubricant containers sealed until the product is needed is the best protection.
Q. What are the recommended storage conditions and practices for Lubricating Oils and Greases?
Store lubricating oils and greases in a cool dry indoor area where airborne particles are at a minimum. Indoor storage also prevents deterioration of label and container from weathering. The ideal storage temperature range is from 0°C to 25°C.
If drums must be stored outside, use plastic covers or tip oil drums to direct water and contamination away from the bungs. Always store greases upright to prevent oil separation.
When necessary, bring grease to satisfactory dispensing temperature just prior to use.
Rotate the inventory. Check the container fill date and use the oldest container first.
Keep containers tightly covered or closed to avoid contamination.
Wipe off the tops and edges of containers before opening to avoid contamination.
Use clean tools and equipment when pumping or handling lubricants and greases.
Q. What is the Shelf Life of a Lubricant?
Shelf life of a lubricant is the usable life of the grease in unpacked condition to derive optimum performance. The shelf life depends on the unique properties of various raw materials used, their effect with each other (and the packing material) over a period of time etc.
The shelf life of most MOSIL greases is 3 years from the date of manufacturing provided the greases are packed in the original untampered containers.
MOSIL uses a twin seal type containers so as to avoid any contamination of the grease inside container after it has been opened by breaking the first security seal on the rim of the container.