Mineral oil specifics

by Emily Wilson
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Dear editor,

I'd like to know the companies that have mineral oil dust suppression systems on the market. I'd also like to know the mineral oil purity standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Anhong Xiao

Food Science and Engineering Dept.

Wuhan Industry College

ChangQing HuaYuan

Wuhan, China

Editor's reply: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's regulations of white mineral oil are specified in regulation F.D.A. 21 CFR 172.878 for direct use in food; F.D.A. 21 CFR 178.3620(b) for indirect use in food; and F.D.A. 21 CFR 573.680 for use in animal feed.

Although the actual purity standards are very technical, the oils must be essentially odorless, tasteless and colorless. The oil must be refined to meet the requirements of the U.S. Pharmecopoeia for readily carbonizable sustances; contain no sulfur; and meet the maximum ultraviolet absorbance limits of special F.D.A. tests. It must be water white and free from general contamination, although it may contain any antioxidant permitted in food.

Oil application systems must be specified to individual jobs, so it is best to speak with a professional to find the best application system for your needs. Often, a mineral oil distributor may be able to suggest oil application options and manufacturers.

The major producers of white mineral oil include Exxon, Shell, Petro-Canada, Penreco, Witco, and Lyondell Lubricants. Some oil application system manufacturers include STE Oil, Dub Johnson & Sons, Phoenix Park Systems and Edward J. Heck & Sons — all based in the United States. Many of these companies can be easily found on the Internet.