jeudi 1 juillet 2010

Packaging Materials: Crunch time for food packs

Very interesting article published on Packaging News.

Recent scares and product recalls have made the safety of inks used in food packaging a hot issue. Jill Park looks at the problem and asks if low-migration technology is the answer.

Low-migration inks have been around for years. But it wasn’t until two big migration scares shook the industry that converters really started to sit up and pay attention to the issue. First, in 2007, Tetra Pak and Nestlé were forced to recall baby milk packaging because traces of Isopropylthioxanthone (ITX) were found to have migrated to the product. It was later discovered that this had probably happened when the freshly printed material was rolled ready for converting, thus transferring traces of ITX onto the other side of the board.

The next high-profile case to arise found 4-methybenzophenome (4MPB) migrating from the outside of a cereal carton, through the plastic bag containing the cereal to the product inside. After some commotion, the European Food Safety Authority (EFTA) ruled there were no health risks from short-term consumption of 4MPB, but that was not before a migration alert through Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) in the Benelux region.

Informing the industry

Sun Chemical’s Stephenson is keen to emphasise that all aspects of the supply chain must be engaged to ensure migration is avoided. "You have to have joined-up communication and thinking so that everybody is designing that packaging for the end purpose intended."
"The ink maker can recommend an ink for a specific substrate and press, but has no knowledge, usually, of the foodstuff to be packed or the pack design so it lies with the pack designers and printer converters to determine what is or isn’t an appropriate ink or coating for the packaging application, low migration or not," says Stephenson.

Vous pouvez consulter ici le dossier sur la migration des composants des encres vers les aliments.

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