Working in the food industry there’s lubricants that NEED to be ‘food grade’ and there’s ones that don’t. While it would undoubtedly be a lot easier if everything was ‘food grade’ and therefore safe to use, there’s always that concern that the ‘food grade’ version will be more expensive, and there's a misconception the performance won’t be as good. So is it a good idea to consolidate ALL your lubricants to food grade?
It’s not a good idea – it’s a GREAT idea. Here’s why…
Don’t be fooled by a slightly higher purchase price. Yes, the food grade version of gear oils, hydraulic oils, compressor fluids, chain fluid or meat rail fluids is often a little bit more expensive. However, you’re getting a lot more value for money.
While the initial price tag might be a slightly higher, you’ll probably find the additional time and effort required to carry lubricants that are not food grade will be costing you more. Having all your lubricants food safe means:
Zero concern over accidental misapplication of product.
Reduced internal processes purchasing different products and ensuring they are kept separate.
A simplified auditing process with less boxes to be checked.
Easier to pass additional food safety standards such as a BRC audit.
Good news – ‘food grade’ is not a downgrade when it comes to performance.
Food grade lubricants are still developed for maximum performance in their relevant sector, they just use different additives to ensure they meet food safety standards. Also, different brands will use different base oils and additives which amount to different performance metrics – so it is a good idea to check these before making the decision to consolidate all your oils to food grade to ensure you will be getting that same performance level.
Here's a quick comparison of a recognised mineral gear oil with Purity food grade gear oil:
Castrol Alpha SP Gear Oil