Understanding food grade silicone lubricants
At its core, a food-grade silicone lubricant is a liquid polydimethylsiloxane yet considered a dry film lubricant. Because of its low toxicity it is particularly suited for use in food processing environments. Unlike traditional lubricants, silicone-based solutions are designed to offer lubricity and slickness while reducing contamination risk around foods.
Food-grade silicone lubricants are utilized primarily for their unique lubricating properties. They reduce friction and enhance the smooth movement of various components on machinery surfaces. Their ability to maintain a clean, relatively dry nature makes them ideal for applications where oil-based lubricants are unsuitable.
Silicone lubricants are used where unlike materials may come into sliding contact. They work best in high friction, low load scenarios where there are unlike surfaces. A prime example of this is cardboard on metal. Boxes moving along a conveyor slide require a dry lubricant to prevent sticking and proceed smoothly down production lines.
Benefits of using a food grade silicone lubricant
The primary benefit of using a food grade lubricant is its safe use around foods. NSF H1 registered lubricants are safe for incidental contact with food, while NSF 3H registered lubricants are safe for direct contact with food. Silicone is also free from food allergens, making it an ideal alternative to food-based release agents, such as soybean oil.
Another benefit of silicone lubricants is their resistance to water. Food production facilities frequently require thorough cleaning and sanitation procedures. Food grade silicone lubricants typically show good resistance to water during facility washdowns, allowing them to remain effective and consistent in performance.
Temperature is another factor to consider when selecting a lubricant There is an array of silicone products available for environments and applications with varying temperatures. Whether you need a silicone release for a hot tortilla oven or a cold conveyor belt, there is a solution available for you.
Finally, by reducing friction on machine components, silicone lubricants can extend the life of your equipment. This not only contributes to cost savings but also helps maintain production efficiency by reducing the frequency of maintenance and downtime.
Potential downsides to silicone lubricants
It is important to note that silicone also acts as a foam depressant, which can inhibit the natural foaming of beer or bread rising. Therefore, it should not be used in breweries and select baking environments. Furthermore, it does not adhere well to painted surfaces. Be sure to evaluate all surfaces when selecting a lubricant.
JAX offers an array of food grade silicone products tailored to meet the unique needs of its customers.
JAX DC Conveyor Release WB Series
JAX DC Conveyor Release WB and RTU Release WB are formulated for multiple uses in the food processing industry. They are NSF 3H registered for direct food contact use. They are especially effective in the baking of flat goods on slat or mesh conveyors. Success has been seen in the production of tortillas, crackers, cookies, pita bread, pizza crust, and other related applications. The high percentage of silicone also imparts exceptional “release” power and makes them ideal alternatives to soy-based release products.
JAX Silicone Fluid 350
JAX Silicone Fluid 350 is a clear, water white NSF 3H registered dimethylpolysiloxane release and anti-foam fluid. It is inert, non-carbonizing, long lasting, and harmless to metals and most plastics. It offers substantial benefits when used as a surface treatment, release material, processing aid. This fluid also reduces abrasion and sticking on sealing, packaging, and forming equipment. And it effectively releases many plastics, glues, adhesives, and other materials.
JAX Dry-Glide® 3H Silicone Release
This silicone product is another NSF 3H compliant dimethylpolysiloxane fluid that can be used as an incidental contact fluid and as a mold release agent. It is ideal for scenarios where a dry and non-sticky surface is essential. It can be used as a mold release agent, elastomer and plastics lubricants, foam preventer, surface active agent or friction reducer.
JAX Dry-Glide® WB
JAX Dry-Glide WB is an NSF H1 water-based aerosol silicone lubricant with a high percentage of silicone fluid. Because it is water-based, it eliminates the concern for flammability. It sprays on clear, dries quickly, does not drip, and has virtually no odor while drying. It’s ideal for plastic display shelves, metal shelving, tracks, eviscerator rods, nonmetallic hanger chains, and other similar applications.
In this article, we explored the food-grade silicone lubricants for use in food processing and packaging These specialized lubricants are formulated to ensure safety around food products while delivering exceptional lubrication, making them essential for reducing friction and extending machinery life.
If you are looking for a food grade silicone lubricant, JAX offers innovative solutions that are tailored to meet your unique needs, enhancing the efficiency and reliability of your food production processes.