Packaging is the unsung, versatile hero of the food supply chain: It has to be attractive and convenient. Most of all, however, it has to keep the food safe and protect it from adverse environmental factors like light, pressure or contamination. Of course, packaging also has to be food safe itself. Food safety in this sense means minimizing the risk of undesired substances migrating from packaging into the foodstuff. Migration of so-called chemicals under discussion is a complex field. And the regulatory legislation is of equal complexity. This is leading to a need for guidance and transparency in the market. Therefore, creating transparency for our customers is at the heart of our commitment to food safety.
For Henkel, this commitment to transparency includes broadening its communication on food safe packaging to address a wider range of stakeholders – from experts like packaging developers and food safety managers to generalists like plant managers, brand owners, retailers – and even consumers.
It means sharing adhesive expertise right from development phase of packaging, through to running safe processes during packaging operations to ultimately having the right documentation to prove safety for customers. Beyond this, Henkel is providing its customers with clarity on the ingredients of adhesive solutions.
Meeting the highest standards in food and occupational safety with Ultra Low Monomer Technology for flexible laminates
Specifically designed for film-film and film-foil laminates, which have to show an increased resistance to aggressive fillings or hot water during boiling procedures, Ultra Low Monomer adhesives contain only a minimum amount of free isocyanate monomers. Thus, they reduce the amount of primary aromatic amines (PAA) that could be formed from the outset. Loctite Liofol LA 3712 / LA 6222 is one of these adhesives. It is a 2-K solvent based laminating adhesive for medium to medium-high performance that is factually PAA-free right after lamination. It can be used for a large variety of laminates and thus sets a new industry benchmark in food safety. With an isocyanate monomer content far below 0.1%, it will be exempted from further regulation under the ECHA proposal for a restriction on diisocyanates, dated October 2016. Therefore, application of this adhesive will not require any training for safe handling of diisocyanates. The new adhesive system also improves productivity in the converting process and allows for slitting within 24 hours.
New Technomelt Supra applications – making machine maintenance safer
To assist food producers and packaging suppliers, Henkel provides Technomelt Supra adhesives that fulfill the legal requirements on safety of food contact materials. Henkel has a triple safety evaluation competence for food contact intended adhesives: It includes the assessment of supplier information, analytical assessments of raw material and final products as well as toxicological checks. This approach ensures substances that can potentially migrate, including mineral oils, will not exceed specific migration limits stated in current legislation.
Henkel is extending its current product range by two new and innovative solutions with exceptionally clean running properties. The non-stringing products were designed to increase overall efficiency of packaging lines and reduce costs. Technomelt Supra 222 Plus shows high adhesion combined with high heat resistance. Technomelt Supra 200 Plus has been designed for very high speed packaging lines. Both products can be recommended for food packaging applications.
Low temperature adhesives increase safety and improve sustainability
Henkel’s new all-rounder adhesive Technomelt Cool 190 is an adhesive with a high adhesion potential and thermostability used in a wide range of paper boards. The low processing temperature of only 120 to 150 degrees Celsius leads to a significant improvement in occupational safety. Beyond minimizing potential injury risks for operators, the lower application temperature of Technomelt Cool 190 significantly reduces the energy consumption in the packaging process.
New Technomelt Cleaner Pure – making machine maintenance safer
With Technomelt Cleaner Pure, Henkel has introduced a new high performance surface cleaner that has a significantly lower CLP classification. It only carries an H319 classification – opposed to standard cleaners with H226, H317, H304 and H315 classifications. This means, operators only need to wear protective goggles when working with this cleaner. Hence, this cleaner reduces risks both to the operators and the environment significantly.
Assuring high lamination quality “on the run”
Henkel is also introducing a new inline, contactless and non-destructive coating weight measurement system for flexible laminates: Lio-Scan. This system can be retrofit in almost all common laminating machines. It significantly improves reliability of operations by immediately indicating any deviation from the specified coating weight, minimizing risks of potential claims and reducing material waste at the same time. For the measurement, Henkel’s innovative system is equipped with an automatically oscillating infrared sensor moving along the film sideways without contact to the material. This sensor measures the isocyanate content, thus achieving the highest coating weight precision. The system covers the full width of the film. It is not limited to transparent films but can also be used for printed or metalized films and aluminum of various thicknesses.
About the author: Dr. Monika Tönnießen is the manager of product safety and regulatory affairs at Henkel.