By Cassandra Balentine
Part 2 of 2
The appeal of digital print is apparent for brand owners. As packaging and label printers and converters begin to adopt digital print technology, they are weary of regulations in terms of food and beverage packaging and labels.
While many digital inks are not yet suited for food and beverage labels and packaging, solutions are available. Here we provide an example of solutions that meet certain safety regulations for food-safe labels and packaging. Please contact companies for more information on specific guidelines.
Epson’s water-based resin ink used in the SurePress L-4533AW digital label press meets safety requirements under REACH, CHCC, CMR, Prop65, and POP.
INX International Ink Co.
INX has been working on digital inks for the food packaging market by utilizing its knowledge of the market, along with the formulation technology of conventional inks, says Russell Szadowski, director of analytical R&D, INX International.
New Solution developed a three-point integrated system—printer, ink, and media—that it says is completely Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliant. Both its water-based dye inks and specially developed media only use adhesives that are also FDA approved.
Screen’s new Truepress Jet L350UV+ runs with Screen Truepress Low Migration inks, which have passed multiple European and Asian certification and compliance tests conducted by third-party laboratories. The printer features a Nitrogen Purge Cure Assist to fully cure UV ink and eliminate uncured monomers and polymers, which reduces UV odor and ensures full curing of low migration inks for food and beverage packaging, according to the company.
Sun Chemical Corporation
As a major supplier to the packaging industry, Sun Chemical understands the legislative requirements and needs of the food packaging sector, comments Peter Saunders, business director—digital, Sun Chemical. “As digital presses are used in more applications, we have had to ensure that our inkjet inks meet the needs of the users, converters for major brands, and have developed a range of migration compliant energy-curable inks.”
To ensure Sun Chemical inks meet the necessary requirements and legislations Saunders says a number of factors are considered, including an understanding of the legislation regulating package printing; a knowledge of migration and the prescribed limits; and a responsibility for ensuring that packaging is correct for its end- use, utilizing correct testing protocols through all key players on the supply chain.
He says critical factors include low migration inks, “sub 10ppb for materials where this is required.” Additionally, they must comply with European standards including the Swiss Ordnance, European Printing Ink Association compliant, and manufactured in accordance to Good Manufacturing Practice.
Sun Chemical’s SunJet inks are UV energy inkjet inks that meet these requirements in cooperation with its OEMs and their customers, explains Saunders.
Migration can be tested and ink products can undergo food safe certification.
Kenji Suzuki, director of R&D inkjet technology, INX International, says INX has the capability to test migration internally, and it does so to determine whether the development direction is correct before offering the ink for trials. “The migration level varies by the contents in the package, the substrate type, and the printing condition, so we discuss these points with the customer before the third-party certification,” he offers.
Szadowski agrees, adding that third-party certification is available from a number of independent labels in Europe and the U.S. “INX does have the capability to test the migration potential of new systems for migration in order to determine if development is moving in the right direction.”
Saunders says Sun Chemical offers independent and certified migration testing services certified to ISO 17025 standards for specific migration testing protocols as well as risk assessment and auditing support services from experienced experts in compliance and regulatory requirements.
In addition to this, the company and its partners work with a number of independent test institutions regarding the testing of its migration-capable inkjet inks, with whom testing can also be carried out independently and results shared with interested parties. “This testing will confirm the compliance of the ink, printer, media, application, and environment to the industry standards, and will need to be carried out prior to production on the printer,” explains Saunders.
When it comes to packaging, the food and beverage segment requires some consideration. For those that offer food and beverage packaging, it is essential to understand the regulations and follow the guidelines for compliance with various control agencies.
Mar2018, Industrial Print Magazine