Sun Chemical is the world’s largest ink maker. German firm Epple Druckfarben dates back to 1870 and has a long track record of ink innovation.
The two firms have signed an exclusive agreement that involves Sun Chemical being granted a licence to market Epple’s BoFood Organic ink range for sheetfed offset.
Epple describes BoFood Organic as a ‘migration harmless’ ink and claims it is the first offset ink suitable for printing onto the inside of food packaging, and therefore potentially in direct contact with food.
“All raw materials used for BoFood Organic are approved for usage in food. An ink consisting of such components poses no toxicological threat even in case of short-term as well as long-term direct contact,” Epple stated.
The ink is available in CMYK and has an accompanying water-based varnish for coated and uncoated stock. Epple recommends over-varnishing due to the low-odour binding agents used.
Sun Chemical will market the ink as SunPak Organic under licence, with Epple retaining the intellectual property behind the product.
The two firms will also collaborate on developments for potential future applications for the the ink tech.
Epple executive board member Dr Carl Epple described the business as “pioneers in the development of sustainable sheetfed offset printing inks”.
“We are particularly proud of having created a worldwide patented offset ink that has been approved for printing on the inside of food packaging. It’s therefore gratifying that Sun Chemical, the world’s largest manufacturer of printing inks, has recognised the quality of our technology and we look forward to cooperating with them.”
Felipe Mellado, chief marketing officer at Sun Chemical, said the group had carried out thorough due diligence to ensure that Epple’s food-safe inks conformed to Sun’s standards.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with Epple to market the technology under the SunPak Organic name, and look forward to a fruitful relationship for both parties,” he said.
Epple-brand inks are sold exclusively in the UK by Pulse Printing Products. Epple took a 40% stake in the supplier's parent company at the end of last year.