A grease sandwich. Wait a sec - before throwing up, hear what
Gunjan Pandey, a senior officer at FoodWorks, has to say:
If the grease is made of food-grade ingredients, then even
a greased sandwich is edible.
Part of the KSA Technopak group, FoodWorks is into marketing
food ingredients like natural and synthetic flavours, marzyme,
cheese and curd cultures, apart from food-grade grease. Says
FoodWorks business manager Rahul Chaudhari: Food-grade grease
is a concept product in India. Abroad, several pharma and food
processing industries use the product as the chance of normal
grease contaminating drug or food does exist.
Says Pandey: In Italy, even locomotives use this food-grade
grease for lubrication. The railway lines run close to the
agriculture fields and the Italians would like to avoid even the
remote chance of usual grease-spilling on to the ground and
getting mixed with the grains and later entering the human system.
Almost all equipment used in Indian food-processing and
pharmaceutical industry use grease to lubricate various moving
parts. These may be lithium-, silicone-, petroleum- or
molybdenum-based. Such non-food grease is not only harmful but
also lethal if it comes into contact with food or drug during
FoodWorks is currently importing the grease from a South
African company and markets it here under the brand name Megalube.
Currently, food-grade grease is not manufactured in India. Says
Tide Water Oil Company general manager (southern region) R B
Ananth: The volumes are low and inspection requirements are
stringent. The domestic food-processing industry is yet to develop
to warrant demand for such grease. Apart from lubrication,
Megalube could be used as an antirust agent in those equipment,
say like big containers and vessels, used for food preparation and
Chaudhari says price is the limiting factor for food-grade
grease gaining popularity. Such grease is three times costlier
than the usual grease. While the cost per kilo is high, as a
percentage of the products final cost is very small.
Chaudhari is trying to play down the price factor. But with many
food-processing units following the HACCP (Hazard Analysis
Critical Control Point) practice, the prospects for food-grade
grease is good because most companies like to rule out the regular
grease contamination hazard.
FoodWorks is targeting the food and beverages, pharma and
packaging units to push Megalube - a grease
that is ideal in places where frequent steam-cleaning is required.
It could also be used as a releasing agent on gaskets or seal
on tank enclosures.
We havent done any market study on the products
potential in India. We are currently importing the item based on
our gut-feeling that food grade grease will gain market
acceptance, says Chaudhari, trying to escape like a greased eel
when quizzed about the volume FoodWorks imports and the amount it
expects to earn from this activity.