Star Product: Sun Chemical SunCure QLM
By Noli Dinkovski Friday, 01 July 2011
New low-migration inks aim to end packaging food scares
When were the inks launched and what markets are they aimed at? Sun Chemical’s SunCure QLM low-migration inks were launched at Interpack in May. The UV-curable inks are designed to be used on cartonboard, flexible packaging and any non-absorbent substrate intended for outer food packaging. SunPak FSP, a range of sheetfed offset inks that also meet food packaging safety standards, were launched at the same time. The inks arrive on the back of an increasing number of scares surrounding ink migration in food packaging. Sun Chemical says it has been working for a number of years to understand the factors affecting migration. "We have now developed a complete portfolio of low-migration inks and coatings to support the packaging chain," claims Bob Greenslade, Sun Chemical’s product manager for energy curing products.
What are the inks’ main benefits? According to Greenslade, SunCure QLM UV allows the printer to produce food packaging outer wrap materials cost-effectively, while delivering high gloss and high print definition at the same time. "With food outer wrap printing it can be difficult for the printer to choose the right ink, as the food packaging construction has poor or unknown barrier properties. SunCure QM inks have been specifically designed to fit this space – they allow the printer to produce food packaging safe print without having to use premium primary food packaging inks," explains Greenslade.
What’s its USP? Sun Chemical believes SunCure QLM and SunPak FSP are unique in that they have been specifically formulated to provide low migration when used with food packaging, yet remain cost-effective. "Having been tested using appropriate materials, the SunCure QLM inks have a certified migration performance in use of below 50 parts per billion (ppb)," says Greenslade.
Which food packaging standards do the inks meet? A variety of packaging printed with SunCure QLM inks have been tested by third-party expert laboratories and certified as being in compliance with Regulation 1935/2004 EC. The inks are also produced in accordance with the latest Nestlé Guidance Document and are manufactured only from substances listed in annex one and annex six of the Swiss Packaging Inks Ordinance.
What money and time savings are the inks able to deliver? Greenslade suggests the best way to demonstrate money and time savings is to compare SunCure QLM inks to other types of inks and methods of protecting food from migration. When it comes to producing packaging that has migration requirements, he believes printers have a choice. "The low migration products used for primary packaging are a certain solution, but may be over-specified and are certainly the highest cost option" Greenslade says. "Standard inks can be used, but testing is needed, with associated costs, to prove an absence of migration, and the results of the testing need to be risk-assessed and acted on to produce food safe packaging. Alternatively, the inner wrap needs to be changed to a functional barrier material." Greenslade says this all leads to SunCure QLM inks, which, when used appropriately on outer wrap packaging, provide a "safe and cost-effective solution to the migration issue on most existing packaging constructions".
What level of support can users expect? Sun Chemical says it makes best practice advice available to its customers using printing inks and coatings for all applications. It recently released the latest edition of its best practice guide, Designing Packaging with Certainty, which helps printers understand how to minimise the migration risks in packaging. "As a responsible and leading player in setting the standard for good practices in the packaging industry, we take our stewardship role in the packaging design and production workflow very seriously," says Greenslade. "The best practice guide confirms our commitment to providing customers with dedicated support and expertise."
How much does the ink cost and what’s the sales target? As is typical with inks, pricing is subject to local and customer agreements. Sun Chemical says it had positive responses from initial customer discussions at Interpack and only last week it received an enquiry for the product from the US, so the product is quickly gaining momentum. "Despite only recently being introduced to the market, we’re already seeing significant interest," says Greenslade. "SunCure QLM inks have been trialled on both sheetfed and web offset presses, producing extremely positive results."
Non-food packaging, primary food packaging, primary outer wrap (secondary) packaging, labels
Cartonboard, PE coated board, films, foils, selected non-absorbent substrates, paper
Resistance colours, ISO 12647-2 capable, multicolour process printing
Expected migration performance
less than 50ppb
Sun Chemical 020 3139 0000 <a href="http://www.sunchemical.com"> www.sunchemical.com </a>
Flint Group Novasens P630 Plus/P660 Premium
Both Novasens P630 Plus and P660 Premium are designed for sensitive food packaging applications – ideally, gloss and matt coated papers and board. Described as "extremely low-migration and low-odour" by Flint Group, the inks only dry by absorption, therefore they need to be used with an inline water-based coater.
Applications food and tobacco packaging
Expected migration performance less than 15ppb
Contact Flint Group 01403 790332 <a href="www.flintgrp.com/en"> www.flintgrp.com/en </a>
Stehlin Hostag NewV MGA
Now 10 years old, Stehlin’s NewV MGA low-migration ink is a well-established brand. Later this month, the next-generation NewV MGA inks will be released. Stehlin says it will be a "technology step-change", to achieve the safest, lowest migration possible.
Applications primary food packaging, folding cartons
Expected migration performance less than 10bpp
Contact Stehlin Hostag Ink UK 0115 986 2681 <a href="www.stehlinhostag.com"> www.stehlinhostag.com</a>
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