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If you make food packaging, look for the NSF logo and Product Category for products you can use
Stop looking for a FDA approved lubricant, mold release, mold cleaner or rust preventive. FDA approval doesn’t really exist, and never did. It has been a point of confusion for years. What plastics processors really should look for are products described as being in compliance with CFR, Title 21 certifications, and NSF certification.
What you should look for is NSF certification.
NSF is the organization that, among other things, certifies non-food products that are permitted for use in manufacturing or processing facilities. For example, NSF would certify a lubricant that can have incidental food contact, making it acceptable for use as a lubricant for machine parts and equipment in which there is potential exposure to food. So, in a plastics processing plant, an NSF registered H1 lubricant could be used for ejector pins when you are molding food packaging.
Now look for the category code
NSF uses various category codes. For Nonfood compounds, you can view their categories here. For products similar to those manufactured by Slide products, the relevant category codes are:
H1: Lubricants and anti-rust agents
M1: Mold Releases
H1 – Lubricants with incidental food contact (so called Food Grade lubricants):
Preparations permitted for use as lubricants and anti-rust agents, or as release agents on gaskets or seals of tank closures, where there is possibility of incidental food contact must be formulated in compliance with CFR, Title 21, Section 178.3570 and other sections referenced therein. The amount used should be the minimum required to accomplish the required technical effect on the equipment so treated. When a product is used as an anti-rust film it should be removed by washing or wiping before putting the equipment back into service.
M1 – Mold releases
Acceptable for use as a mold release agent on molds that are used to product packaging material that will contact food to prevent the finished product from adhering to the mold. The amount used on the equipment should be the minimum required to accomplish the effect.
P1 – Miscellaneous
This product is acceptable for use as a mold cleaner or degreaser for use on mold equipment for plastic parts in nonfood processing areas at ambient temperature or above, where rinsing of the mold equipment is not possible. A potable water rinse is not required following the use of this product on hard mold surfaces, provided that the surfaces are adequately wiped-off, so that no visible residue remains. A potable water rinse is required following use of this compound on conditions other than those stated above. The compound must always be used according to the applicable label directions.
NSF certification is currently the best way to ensure the product you use has been reviewed by an independent agency and is acceptable for use in the intended application. If you mold food-packaging products you should look for the NSF logo and NSF category on the product label.
Technical assistance is available at Slide Products to help you select the right formulations with the appropriate certifications to meet your specific needs. You can contact Slide at 1-800-323-6433; or via Email.