The new EcoTech Low Migration sheetfed process color inks offer high performance and are designed specifically for the folding carton market. The EcoTech LM system is formulated without mineral oil, is cobalt-free and has minimal residual odor. Most importantly, these inks comply with the Nestle Guidance Note on Packaging Inks and conform to U.S. and European food packaging guidelines for outer printing. They also meet ISO 2846-1 standards and are suitable to GRACoL G7 certification.
These inks are being made available at a time when migration issues continue to be a concern in the industry. Migration is defined as the transfer of substances from the packaging to a packaged food. These substances may not always be detected in organoleptic testing (of odors and taste) or when consumed, but may be found by sensitive chemical analysis. Low Migration printing application products include consumables such as inks and coatings that are specifically formulated and tested to minimize migration in use. They typically are made from raw materials that under normal conditions of use do not migrate.
“INX selects raw materials for Low Migration inks with low odor in mind. This represents a “Best Practice” solution to avoid any unwanted organoleptic impact in packaging, as well as avoiding problems in terms of any potential health hazard due to chemicals from the graphic process,” said Chris Bonk, vice president and sheetfed technical director for INX International.
“We recommend for Low Migration ink testing to be performed under actual press conditions. Not only must it meet the single specific migration limit of individual components, but it must meet an overall migration limit on all components as well. And, it must also comply with a brand owner’s specifications,” Mr. Bonk added.
Mr. Bonk also suggests brand owners, printers and converters need to clarify their respective migration protocols and make it known as Nestle has with its Guidance procedures.
“Our stance at INX is to eliminate mineral oil from inks involved in the printing of food packaging, which we have done with the EcoTech LM process color inks,” Mr. Bonk said. “We recommend for printers, converters and substrate manufacturers to maintain good manufacturing practices and continually test and verify their finished products to control any possible contamination.”