There is a lot of the production industry and consumer goods sector. With thousands of products on the market being produced every single day, there is a whole host of requirements for the packaging and labeling that they come in. This is one of the primary reasons why industrial&CIJ ink is such an integral part of this process and an exciting one. Each industry under the consumer goods umbrella has its specific requirements when it comes to food grade labelling and ink. These requirements also mean different methods of manufacturing and processes that companies have to integrate.
When it comes to the food and beverage sector, it’s no surprise that safety is paramount and the most critical aspect that’s heavily controlled. This is because strict rules need to be implemented to avoid contamination of the food. When it comes to ink, steps have to be taken to make sure it can’t be transferred from the packaging to the food itself. The FDA has to approve all ink that is used within the food industry this is called determining it to be food grade.
Food Safety and Migration
The transference of ink onto food is called migration. This particular area of food safety is essential and kept under control using a variety of methods. Let’s look at some aspects of the ink and packaging itself that need to be a certain way to avoid this:
- Dry tone
- The manufacturing of the food safety labels
- The different options when it comes to coating
- Temperature: migration has a higher chance of happening in warmer temperatures
- The consistency of the food itself. When food is drier, it has a lower risk of being contaminated by migrated ink.
Dry tone comes out on top when it comes to reliability and safety. One of the primary reasons for this is because dry tone has an ingredient that makes it impossible to migrate. This is called pigment. Because no liquids are involved in the making of dry tone, there is no risk of migration.
In contrast, a liquid toner has a high risk of being transferred to the edible product, which makes it unsuitable to be used in this industry.
Industrial inkjet printing that is water based doesn’t have a high chance of being susceptible to migration. However, it is one of the most expensive inks to use with packaging, because of the primers involved. For this reason, it’s not a popular choice, even though it has a low risk of migration.
Another thing to think about when producing a product is the quality of the label and imaging. The higher the quality, the more aesthetically pleasing it is to the customer, which will increase their chances of buying it.
Overall, this means that the process of labeling food must be efficient, but thorough so that the result is of high quality. The customer is attracted to products they find visually pleasing, so along with safety, this is another top priority when making food labels.