As the interest in food packaging safety grows across the world, so does the demand for package and label printing technology that protects packaged food from toxic substances. Responding to this trend and ever-stricter regulation, inkjet printer manufacturer Screen has teamed up with adhesives specialist Lintec to ensure the safety of low migration (low permeability) labels and adhesives for packaged food.
Screen Graphic Solutions, a subsidiary of Screen Holdings (Kyoto, Japan), is a manufacturer and supplier of system components for the prepress and printing industries. Its large range of equipment includes the Truepress Jet range of large format inkjet printers, UV inkjet label presses, sheet-fed and web-fed inkjet presses, the Equios workflow system, RIPs, and plate setters. The company is also a well-known manufacturer of equipment for the semiconductor and flat panel display manufacturing industries.
“We consider food packaging safety a responsibility of the entire supply chain. We therefore work with partners whenever possible to enhance the availability of safe and low migration packaging,” says Taishi Motoshige, manager sales, and operations at Screen Europe.
Building on decades of research and development of safe and efficient digital inkjet printing, Screen launched its new low migration label printer three years ago, the Truepress JetL350UV+ LM, which uses uniquely developed low migration inks that offer enhanced safety for food packaging applications. The printer is equipped with a nitrogen purge mechanism for accelerating the drying (also known as ‘curing’) of UV inks, further preventing ink migration. The Truepress JetL350UV+LM is popular in Europe, chosen by dozens of print companies. “Interest in our low migration label print technology remains strong, even in corona times,” says Motoshige.
Choice of adhesives
Although low-migration labels are crucial for food packaging safety, the choice of adhesives used to stick the labels to packaging is also essential.
Lintec, a label materials developer for packaging, has been investing in R&D for years to improve its ultra-low migration adhesives continually. Now, Screen and Lintec have partnered to ensure their technologies work smoothly together, producing food and pharmaceutical labels and packaging fast, efficiently, and following the highest regulatory standards.
“Safety issues related to the migration of ink and adhesive components throughout the food and pharmaceutical supply chain, as well as the potential health hazards that they could pose to end-users, are causes of concern for brand owners and manufacturers. Therefore, label and packaging suppliers face growing demand for solutions that ensure products are protected from contamination caused by inks and adhesives,” says Kazuya Katoh, general manager, Administration Department, R&D Division at Lintec.
Performance of combined low migration technologies
Screen and Lintec ran several independent third-party tests to assess the performance of their combined low migration technologies. According to the press statement, the test results revealed that, when Screen’s Truepress Jet L350UV+LM is combined with Lintec’s ultra-low migration labelstock, the overall migration limit (OML) is 0.6mg/100cm2. “This is an outstanding result, considering the current EU regulation allowance for OML is 10mg/100cm2,” says Motoshige.
By jointly tackling ink migration, “Lintec and Screen are showing their commitment to corporate responsibility and to delivering a product that provides brand owners and end-users the reassurance they need,” adds Katoh.