Archive for the Food Grade Heat Transfer Fluid Category

A Stark Reminder of the Importance of Food Process Safety

A rather compelling reminder of the perils surrounding our food, our kitchens, and the entire journey of foodstuffs from field and barn to table and mealtime can be found nearly every day, while watching broadcast television.

In television production-studio kitchens, children as young as 8, and retirees in their 7th decade weave back and forth from the larders to their prep counters and pro-kitchen equipment, and from there to the ovens and stovetops, while competing to be selected as the best, by those persnickety and demanding celebrity chefs.

Vats of boiling oil, trays of broiling bacon, rotating mince blades, manual carrot chopping (fingernails in “claw” mode!), red-hot heating elements, grater surfaces, oven racks—these all can be focal points of danger and potential injury.

We watch as these intrepid and aspiring chefs, young and old, in the rush and turmoil of competing against both time and their highly skilled adversaries, inevitably back into each other while holding a hot vat or steaming kettle, or slice a digit or grate a fingertip or sear a knuckle, potentially dashing their hopes for the title of Master, Grand, or Top Chef.

On another channel in a fascinating recent documentary, about the early development of forensic science in New York City nearly a century ago, food contamination turns out to be the culprit in several very important court cases. For the first time in US history, meticulous testing and research were systematically used as legal evidence to prove accidental death, or intentional murder.

Photo of Alexander Gettler likely in the 20s or 30s

Dr. Alexander Gettler, first toxicologist and forensic chemist with the City of New York

Summer Barbecue Safety Can Be Tricky

It’s the heart of the summer, August 2016. We put wine-soaked cedar planks on our gas grills for salmon seasoning, load piles of charcoal into our Webers and Hibachis, we marinate our proteins and brush EVO on our pepper slices and zucchini filets, we make wonderful food and the aromas of char and caramelization swirl through our neighborhoods; and we, too, must be wary of the dangers. I remember an afternoon 50 years ago when my dad had a stubborn batch of charcoal and was sprinkling some grill lighter fluid on the smoking briquettes. Suddenly the tin can exploded in his hand. It was startling, but fortunately no injury resulted. Perhaps slightly wounded pride in having to explain to your son how not to use lighter fluid, as amply demonstrated. Have you seen or used those stand-alone whole turkey fryers? Check it out on Youtube, and you’ll see more examples of people breaching safety procedures when cooking outdoors. Hint: Do Not Immerse a Frozen Whole Turkey into A Vat of Boiling Oil.

These days, food manufacturers, and restaurants and chains, are very meticulous with their processes to protect the safety of their products, and their customers. And their customers’ customers. Still, accidents happen.

Indirect heating with heat transfer fluids has been common in industrial manufacturing, including food processing, for several decades now.

In 1968, a heat transfer fluid made of PCB (since banned for functional heating purposes, as well as most other uses) poisoned more than 1600 people in Japan, due to accidental contamination of edible rice oil.

We’ve Come a Long Way Since 1968

Food-grade heat transfer fluids are now very widely used in food manufacturing equipment, including high volume fryers, ovens, grills, dryers, and distillation applications; in the poultry, meat, dairy, baking and vegetable-oil processing industries.

Food-grade heat transfer fluids assure the consumer public, and the food production industry, that these crucial steps of these food-manufacturing processes are properly engineered, safe, and reliable.

Food-grade heat transfer fluids were originally registered and certified in the late 1970s by the USFDA and the USDA. Now, these certifications are maintained and managed by the NSF.

No food-grade heat transfer fluid has been more researched and more certified for safety than the Paratherm™ NF heat transfer fluid. In addition to its original certifications from the USFDA, the USDA, Canada H&W, and New Zealand MAF, Organism Laboratory Bioassay; and its current NSF registration and kosher and Halal acceptance, it’s the only product on the market that has been the subject of research into its inherent safety and toxicity after being used in a working process heating system manufacturing food products for several years.

Image of a daisy, in a flask of clear heat transfer fluid, like a vase

Paratherm NF Food-Grade Heat Transfer Fluid

In other words, not only has Paratherm NF held multiple certifications and passed toxicity standards as a brand-new, clear, unused fluid, it has also passed muster as a used, beaten up, moderately browned, yet still perfectly usable, still-within-specifications food-grade thermal oil.

We did these tests because no other food-grade fluid is used in more food plants and applications. Paratherm is the leader in this niche, in products, in service, in technical expertise, and we take the safety of the product very seriously, and intend to remain the leader.

So you can be assured, whether you’re specifying food-grade fluid for a new system, or have been using the same charge of fluid for 5 years, that it’s safe. Contamination aside, Paratherm NF continues to pass bioassay whether it’s new or used.

Paratherm also works with all its customers to maintain their systems, to test their fluids regularly, to avoid problems and prevent contamination as much as possible. Paratherm offers plenty of information on the web as well, to assist with safe handling and use of all of our products.

Paratherm has a section of its website that collects all these safety resources in a single place. View it at


Ask the Professionals: Service and Maintenance of Thermal Fluid Systems

Why should someone pick a fluid system over steam?

Thermal-fluid systems have been replacing steam in a wide range of process applications for decades. Non pressurization, simpler components, and higher efficiencies make these systems easier to run and maintain. Once you have decided to switch to a thermal-fluid system, proper service and maintenance are required to ensure that fluids and equipment stay in optimal condition. As an industry leader, Paratherm has experience and the service capabilities to keep your systems up and running. Hot-oil systems are especially attractive for new installations where steam boilers or a steam utility isn’t already present, and heating or heat removal is needed more than the unique properties of the steam itself.

What is your fluid maintenance program? Will it help me?

In short term, yes – it will help you. Paratherm’s Fluid Maintenance Program takes the guesswork out of thermal-fluid analysis. Through sample kits, we test your fluid, compare it against previous samples, and provide you with feedback on its condition. This comprehensive lab review determines if the fluid results are normal, if an equipment problem exists, or if operational issues are causing fluid to degrade. If any changes have occurred, you will be able to take corrective actions to prevent system downtime or damage. Proactive system maintenance is scheduled to meet your needs with incentives offered toward the next analysis.

Image of Laboratory

Our New Laboratory

Do you offer any other services to keep my system on track?

Thermal Fluid System Training is another service Paratherm offers to evaluate in-house maintenance and operation of the thermal-fluid system. Our qualified technical service representative arrives for a half-day or full-day site visit to inspect the system and train personnel on proper safety, operation, and operating practices. A follow-up interview and summary report are included. We also provide preventative maintenance programs, troubleshooting, and system application and design reviews.

Final Thoughts From the Experts

The experts at Paratherm are here to help you manage all aspects of thermal-fluid systems. From training personnel on new systems to maintaining existing systems, we provide the services and maintenance programs to keep your process running smoothly and effectively. In need of our systems today? Contact us here.

Earth Day and Our Efforts

Earth Day is almost here and in recognition of its 46th birthday we are speaking to our efforts in the biodiesel industry. For over two decades now, Paratherm has incorporated biodiesel work into our daily activities. We have been an associate member of the National Biodiesel Board, and have also been featured in BIODIESEL MAGAZINE as the initiator of a mail survey of top-shape biodiesel plants in the U.S., as well as an article written by Dave Nilles – click here for more information.

Where and why did it all begin?

To briefly summarize, in the early 1990s a biodiesel plant was searching for a durable, food-grade medium that was stable for high-temperature heat transfer. The ultimate goal was to distill methanol off of the glycerine recovery—a recovery and purification step in the overall process. The company chose the Paratherm™ NF Heat Transfer Fluid—both for it’s non-toxic and food-grade properties, and thermal stability at the required high process temperatures.

During that time, Paratherm NF was already making a name for itself, being known for its use in food processing applications, and chemicals manufacturing. As we switched over to biodiesel we noticed an unexpected, but exciting characteristic – a less harsh smell. Biodiesel is less toxic and more considerate than regular diesel. Marc Archambault explains, “At the end of the day, you might crave french fries, but that’s better than having a splitting headache.”globe_78_full

Today, the fluid is used in numerous vegetable oil plants in replacement of steam or synthetic vapor-phase fluids. This distillation procedure is technically known as oil deodorization, because originally it was intended to remove off-flavors. The term now refers to a more sophisticated process that results in purer and more consistent edible oils for use in food production and home kitchens.

And these days, the feedstock streams for biodiesel and other biofuel manufacturing processes come from the same ultimate source. Used cooking oils, as well as raw vegetable oils and fats rendered from animal sources are all used for biofuel production.

What makes this heat transfer fluid attractive to the biodiesel industry?

Here’s the breakdown:

1. Paratherm NF has high temperature capability – allowing for 550° to 600° process temperature range, with a safety buffer to allow for temperature or operator glitches.
2. Paratherm NF carries NSF food-grade status – meaning it is non-toxic, easily recyclable and disposable.
3. This heat transfer fluid is readily available – stocked in 6 North-American regional warehouses, also available for emergencies on evenings and weekends. Need it by tonight or tomorrow morning? Paratherm can deliver!
4. Added technical support – questions about how your system works? Paratherm’s team of sales, tech support, and lab analysis engineers is on call to help with any hot oil questions.

Contact Paratherm for your eco-friendly heat transfer fluid products today! For Earth Day, and every day. For hot oil vs. steam costs and savings click here:

National Manufacturing Month

When Manufacturing Day launched on Oct. 4, 2012, hundreds of manufacturing companies and thousands of people participated in the first annual event highlighting the value of manufacturing to the United States economy and its highly skilled careers. This response prompted an extension of the day into the entire month of October.

Through a series of open houses, public tours, career workshops and other events on Oct., 4, 2013, and throughout the rest of the month, hundreds of manufacturers will draw public attention to manufacturing’s present-day reality by opening their doors and showing, in a coordinated effort, exactly what manufacturing and careers therein are — and what they aren’t.

Modern manufacturing environments are commonly thought of as dark, dangerous factories designed for low-skilled workers, when in fact today’s manufacturing environments include highly trained, well-paid employees who work on state-of-the-art equipment. Today’s manufacturing facilities are sleek, technology-driven places that include robots, automated machinery, screen technologies and increasingly more 3-D printing technologies. Present-day engineers and developers in manufacturing are building on engineers’ past technological innovations to create the next breakthroughs that will address tomorrow’s great challenges.

Ultimately, manufacturing is an attractive mixture of cutting-edge tech and traditional hands-on work. Many professionals today are so involved in their electronic and digital lives that they may feel removed from the actual “stuff” that they are involved in producing. Even while utilizing sophisticated digital tools, manufacturers have the unique benefit of being makers – working with the satisfaction of making real products for people.

The nation’s manufacturing sector provides a number of other compelling reasons for young people to pursue manufacturing careers. For instance, did you know that the annual average salary of manufacturing workers is more than $77,000? Or that 90 percent of them have medical benefits? Moreover, despite all the doom-and-gloom news in recent years about how manufacturing jobs are shrinking, manufacturers have the highest job tenure in the private sector.

The importance of manufacturing and the role of its workers in bringing innovative improvements to the people who need them can hardly be overstated. And the large-scale results are clearly felt. According to information provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a cosponsor of Manufacturing Day:

  • For every dollar of goods produced, manufacturing generates an additional $1.43 for the U.S. economy;
  • In just five states, manufacturing adds more than half a trillion dollars to the nation’s economy;
  • Manufacturers are responsible for almost two-thirds of all private-sector research and development; and
  • Each manufacturing job creates at least 2.91 more jobs in other sectors.

Manufacturing Day/Month presents a great opportunity to showcase how modern manufacturing is not our grandfathers’ manufacturing anymore, and is a chance to attract young people and get them excited about pursuing a highly rewarding career in a technology-driven, innovative environment that will also provide a good-paying job. It is a chance to correct common misperceptions about manufacturing in the United States today.

Heat Transfer Fluids: Who and What Are They For?

Heat transfer fluids serve a wide variety of industrial needs, including very simple, static designs as well as complex multi-loop systems that perform multiple functions in a manufacturing process.

As many variations as there are in the utilization and design of processes using heat transfer fluids, there are nearly as many industries that employ them.  Their advantages are seen by a broad range of applications (mainly within the process industries) and hundreds of thousands of users daily. So what exactly are they, and why do they work so well?

Multiple industry images

In the strictest sense of the term, a heat transfer fluid is any fluid (gaseous or liquid) used where a process must be heated and/or cooled.  Therefore, this could include water and steam, but for the purposes of this post, we will mainly discuss engineered heat transfer fluids, which are products made from petroleum or synthetic-based feedstocks.

However, when looking at the benefits of engineered heat transfer fluids, it’s important to understand why they are advantageous over water and steam heat transfer, as well as compared to direct heat application.  The benefits include:

Engineered heat transfer fluids vs. water/steam—Water freezes at 32°F, a limitation that engineered heat transfer fluids don’t suffer; water also boils at 212°F(at sea level), and anything above that creates a pressurized condition which requires stronger material, another limitation engineered heat transfer fluids don’t have.  Engineered fluids’ range (in the liquid phase) is much wider, at -150°F to 650°F and above.  Water and steam also require higher maintenance costs and greater safety concerns.

Engineered heat transfer fluids vs. direct heat application—Engineered heat transfer fluids provide greater control, greater precision, and greater uniformity in heating and/or cooling.

So what industries benefits from their use, and in what ways?

Food Meat & Poultry Further Processing, Snack Foods
Chemicals Batch Reactors, Continuous Processes
Plastics, Rubbers, and Composites Molding, Blow Molding, Extrusion
Petrochemicals Catalysis, Distillation, Synthesis
Oil and Gas Gas Processing, Refineries
Converting Presses, Rolls, Laminating, Printing
Asphalt and Concrete Concrete Heating, Hot-Mix Paving
Building Materials Engineered Woods, Roofing Materials
Die Casting Die Temperature Control
Industrial Laundry Flat Work Ironers, Steam Generators


The above chart outlines a partial view of the wide range of industries and applications where heat transfer fluids are applied.

To review a more comprehensive list of applications and equipment utilizing heat transfer fluids, click here.

FAQs about Plastic Injection Molding Temperature Control

Why control the temperature?

Many of the plastic injection molding and plastic blowmolding applications require even and precise control of temperature in order to successfully fabricate small compact–or intricate–components and finished products.    In many cases, “hot spots” or areas of localized heating from electric heating elements will not provide enough precision or even-temperature, in order to ensure that the product is of the best quality throughout.

How can you control the temperature?

There are a variety of ways that the temperature can be controlled when doing injection molding.  The best method is to utilize heat transfer fluids.  These are now the standard in the industry.  Molding machines, extruders, and reservoirs can be heated and cooled to exact temperatures via heat transfer fluids.  If they are applied at a controlled rate and circulated around the element being heated, they are very useful in precisely maintaining temperatures.

What are heat transfer fluids?

Water is the most common fluid, but sometimes it isn’t the best, especially in very high temperature situations.   There are other options (non-aqueous fluids) that are best for very high or even low temperature applications.  As well there are fluids that are better suited for either indirect heating or even for cooling (extracting heat from) the molds.

These fluids pass easily through the many small flow passage areas of molds and dies used in the plastics industry.  The fluids are not corrosive and are thermally stable as long as they are used within their applicable temperature ranges.

When should heat transfer fluids be used?

Heat transfer fluids can be used in almost every part of the manufacture of plastic materials and synthetic fibers.  When operating temperatures preclude a fluid like water, an engineered heat transfer fluid should be specified for operating temperatures ranging from -150 degrees F to 400 degrees F.  In addition, when the operating temperatures reach as high as 550 degrees F, specialized high-temperature heat transfer fluids should be used.  Various cooling and heating fluids can operate in temperatures that range from minus -40 degrees F to 550 degrees F.

What other industries besides plastics use these fluids?

Industries such as Adhesives, Textiles, Food Processing and Chemical can utilize heat transfer fluids.

For more detailed discussion about hot oils in plastics manufacturing processes, see…

Hot Oil Temperature Control in Plastics Applications; Operations and Troubleshooting


Employee Spotlight: Ray Klim, Food Industry Specialist

At Paratherm, our success lies not only in the quality of our products, but in the people we employ.  They are the heart and soul of our business.  Here, we’d like to spotlight one member of our team, a Food Industry Specialist who represents the passion, commitment, and expertise that makes our employees—and our company—who we are.Ray Klim

Ray Klim, an industry veteran and proud father of five adult children (and incidentally, a jazz guitarist with a particular fondness for George Benson) came to Paratherm about a year ago, and has been an illustrative example of the type of person Paratherm stands for.  It seems he, too, feels this way, as he says “It is a pleasure at Paratherm. I’ve had a long history in the industry, and this is by far the best job and the one I’ve enjoyed more than any of them.”  This shows in both his work and how he talks about it, with pride, energy, and excitement.

Ray came to us after working in the food industry his entire adult life, having been at Domino Sugars and then Newlyweds Foods, the largest producer of coating systems for the meat and poultry industry, where he spent 17 years. In short, he knows the industry as well as he knows the fingerboard of his Gibson 6-string. In addition to years of professional experience, he’s taken part in several continuing education courses over the years, including Introduction to Food Technology at RutgersUniversity.

So what is his role as Food Industry Specialist for Paratherm?  He partners with all of the country’s leading poultry processing firms to ensure their systems are running productively, runs support and training for them when necessary, evaluates their volume frying, grilling, and oven systems, and identifies and corrects any problems.  He tests and reviews their food-grade heat transfer fluids, both individually at the plant level and at a corporate level, ensuring the maximum safety and efficiency of the product and the highest level of quality to both the processor and the consumer.  When speaking about the fact that Paratherm is integrated into over 90% of the poultry further-processing market, and on the subject of our quality standards, he is passionate, and that he truly loves his job is evident.

Looking ahead, Ray says that maintaining that high standard while introducing the efficiency and uniformity of indirect heating (and Paratherm expertise) to other markets such as seafood, red meat, and snacks, broadening our approach, and being more active globally are some of his goals and focus points.

It’s clear that Ray is proud of the work he does, and we’re proud to have him as part of our team.

Product Spotlight: Paratherm NF® Food-Grade Heat Transfer Fluid

Paratherm’s heat transfer fluids are integral to a number of industrial sectors, including the meat, poultry, seafood, snack and baking. By using our Paratherm NF® Food-Grade Heat Transfer Fluid, our clients, their workers, and American consumers are safer and happier.

Food-grade heat transfer fluids are used as an alternative to direct-fire heating when frying, grilling, roasting and baking food products. There are many advantages, which include safety and more consistent heat transfer yielding superior products, and most importantly, safer food. When eliminating direct-fired heating in the cook process, the heat source can be moved to another room, making for better working conditions. Indirect heating with heat transfer fluids provides more precise temperature control, ensuring uniform, even cooking. And should there be a breach in equipment, there are no toxicity concerns when food-grade heat transfer fluids are used.

Nowadays, almost all meat and poultry plants that supply items to fast food chains (as well as frozen convenience products for home kitchens) throughout the country are using heat transfer fluids. Back in the 1990’s, when the technology was being developed, it was Paratherm NF® Food-Grade Heat Transfer Fluid they were using for the process development. Our product simply has the longest safety record in the industry—having been crucial to its growth—and therefore has the most certifications. Approved by the FDA and the USDA, it is also certified kosher, certified in three countries internationally, and passed bioassay testing with three fresh and saltwater organisms. Paratherm’s is the only food-grade heat transfer fluid with such extensive toxicity testing.

Furthermore, we realize that today’s further processors and bakers don’t have much time to spare. Therefore, we stock our product in five North American warehouses and will ship at a moment’s notice, 24/7 whenever necessary. We ensure the best product out there, delivered promptly to where it needs to be. To learn more about our food-grade heat transfer fluid, visit

The Paratherm NF heat transfer fluid isn’t limited to food-processing applications however. For its unique properties (low viscosity, fouling resistance, and high-temperature stability among them) it is also very widely used in applications involving processing of chemicals, plastics, packaging, and many others.  For instance, among the hundreds of running plastics applications using Paratherm NF heat transfer fluid, 64% are injection molding, and the rest are distributed among other plastics applications including thermoforming, extrusion, compounding, film casting, hot rolls, and lab mills.  Paratherm NF pairs extremely well with the electrically heated systems used in the plastics, die casting, and converting industries.  For more information, call +1 (610) 941-49 or email