The value of NSF registration for non-food compound products for the food industry

By Louis Munnick of CRC Industries (Pty) Ltd on 10 May 2019

Generally, maintenance teams in the food industry don’t always understand the value of using NSF food compound products that ensure their plant and equipment operates optimally and simultaneously reduce contamination risks.

What is NSF’s Non-food compounds registration program? *

NSF International’s Non-food compounds registration program is an independent, third-party review that evaluates proprietary substances and Non-food compounds intended for use in food processing environments.

This program is a continuation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) compound approval and listing program and is based on meeting applicable regulatory requirements including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 21 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) or other applicable regulations.

NSF registers thousands of products such as lubricants, water treatments chemicals, cleaners and coatings in over 90 categories based on the intended end use of the product.

Non-food compounds registration process

  1. Formulation review – NSF provides an independent review of ingredients against the requirements of 21 CFR and/or other acceptable regulations for a specific end use.
    Value add – An independent third-party review of the formulation provides the Industry with confidence that the product was logically classified and allocated into areas in the plant where the product can be used.

  2. Label review – NSF verifies that the label has no misleading claims and includes appropriate end use instructions.
    Value add – Ensures that product labels contain accurate information / descriptions. This removes confusion and ensures that users can rely on the information and use the correct product for an application.

  3. Traceability – Registered products must bear the NSF registration mark and include the applicable category code.
    Value add – Traceability is usually a given for products manufactured in an ISO environment. Certain manufacturers are NOT ISO compliant and this component of registration forces them to provide traceability details. Generally aerosols stamp the appropriate manufacture batch and date at the bottom of the can. The registration mark and number provides the industry with traceable information to validate and verify information independently.

  4. NSF's White Book ™ listing – Products registered can be found at
    Value add – This is a huge benefit to the food industry as it provides quality assurance, health and safety, HACCP and maintenance teams the ability to independently check and verify that companies and products are in fact listed in the NSF White Book. The food industry does not have to rely on the suppliers’ marketing information and can check details of the supplier. The ability to check information with an independent party such as the NSF provides substantial benefits from a risk management point of view to ensure that all products used in the plant have been properly registered, are used in specific areas of the plant and have the necessary supporting information on file. 


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Safety through the line

Using registered Non-food compound components, provides the necessary assurance that products are manufactured to the highest international quality standards consistently. If the manufacturer matches the quality of their products with the quality of the information such as supporting documents, you then have a strong base to reduce contamination risks, improve competency and meet all stringent audit requirements. Examples of a few NSF product classifications include and what supporting documentation you can expect to provide you with the confidence you need:

  • Food-grade H1 lubricants – Incidental contact; supporting documents:
    1. Product data specification
    2. Safety data specification – Sixteen points including safety details, transport, This is an external doc storage, sub tariff codes, etc.
    3. NSF letter of registration – Registration number, date, description and definition of the classification
  • NSF classified H2 lubricants – No contact with food
    1. Product data specification
    2. Safety data specification – Sixteen points as above
    3. NSF letter of registration as above

Below in Table 1 is a comprehensive list of NSF product classifications also available on

Table 1



For more information, contact Louis Munnick