By Isaac Fletcher, contributing writer, Food Online
The mineral oil used in inks for printing on secondary food packaging has been discovered to sometimes contaminate the food contained within. A new mineral oil-free ink has been designed to help address the problem
During recent years, there have been increasing concerns regarding the contamination of foods from inks used on secondary packaging and recycled packaging materials. As the food packaging industry strives to avoid using materials which contain mineral-oil hydrocarbons, the introduction of a mineral oil-free ink could provide an effective solution for printing needs of secondary packaging.
The ink is engineered to be used in secondary packaging applications, such as barcoding on corrugated and other absorbent paper packaging materials. Not only does the ink provide a proactive solution against potential future legislation, it also is designed to meet coding and marking requirements. The ink contains premium-grade pigment, which delivers high quality and optical density on a wide variety of porous packaging materials.
The concern over ink contamination has grown due, in part, to the increasing use of recycled packaging materials. When packaging is created from recycled materials, the packaging manufacturer mixes paper and cardboard products into a pulp which is then used to create the packaging material. While this process is ultimately beneficial for the environment and sustainability efforts, there is a risk that mineral oils from the ink on recycled paper products could end up in food. By using an ink that is free of mineral oil, food packaging printing operations can help contribute to an eventual solution for fears of contamination. When secondary packaging marked with mineral oil-free ink is recycled, there will be a much lower risk that the new packaging material contaminates the food within.