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FLEXO Magazine : May 2012
The Six STepS for perfecT food packaging: Ink manufacturers can certify the suitability of an ink series for food packaging applications, but they cannot certify the legal compliance of the final printed packaging. This is because many parameters have an influence on this compli- ance, such as the substrate used, the printing and converting process, and the storage conditions at all stages. In order to avoid any problems with ink, it is important that we work as a team with all vested parties and collaborate on the process. Below are the six steps and responsibilities to reach compli- ance to the packaging specification. 1. packaging SpecificaTionS BY The food indUSTrY Clear specifications of the packaging need to be provided, taking into account all relevant parameters • Physical and chemical properties of the food to be packed • Conditions of converting • Storage • Final use by the consumer 2. packaging concepTion BY The conVerTer Relevant issues are the choice of substrates and other ad- equate materials, graphics, printing and converting process with all parameters. 3. ink forMULaTion BY The ink MaUfacTUrer After a final validation of the packaging specifications with the converter and a risk analysis (migration, physical and chemical resistances, organoleptic impacts), a recommenda- tion on suitable inks and varnishes has to be made. 4. ink ManUfacTUerS adVice on USe In addition to the product recommendation, the converter needs to be advised on the conditions of use, which includes relevant documentation (technical data sheets, application guidelines...) 5. VaLidaTion of The prinTing proceSS BY The prinTer The combination of ink and final material specifications combined with the process parameters have to be validated (odor, residual solvents, migration...) 6. finaL packaging VaLidaTion BY The food indUSTrY The food industry is responsible for checking the fulfillment of the packaging use. All necessary documents must be col- lected from the converter. The keY To conSiSTenT ink prodUcT deVeLop- MenT and conforMance: Materials: The global consolidation of raw materials has had a major impact on ink companies. It is important that an ink company have an internal process to evaluate a change to supply or the qualification of new material. Materials that should be certified by the ink company ’s analytical team are: • Pigments • Resins www.flexography.org may 2012 FLEXO 27