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Henkel: Food safety commitment generates innovations

News 03.05.2017

Henkel's packaging adhesives branch commits itself to protecting consumers and brands alike. The Food Safe Packaging Initiative allows Henkel to look nearer at adhesive-associated facets of food packaging.

Safe adhesives for all kinds of packaging

Determined to improve packaging safety and sustainability, Henkel calls for collaborators along the entire value chain as to initiate an open dialogue at Interpack 2017, which is about to take place in Düsseldorf on May 4...10. Henkel will highlight its latest product innovations, not only food-safe but increasing work safety and production efficiency for the company's customers.

Dr. Monika Tönnießen, Manager Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs at Henkel, explains the matter in more detail: "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."

Henkel aims at expanding its communication on food-safe packaging to a wider range of stakeholders, from professionals e.g. food safety managers or packaging developers to generalists e.g. plant managers, brand owners or retailers – and even consumers.

The company's commitment means sharing adhesive expertise starting straight from packaging development, running safe packaging processes, and finally having the correct documentation to be able to prove the attained safety level to customers. And even further, Henkel does not keep any of the adhesive solutions' ingredients a secret for its customers.

Ultra Low Monomer Technology for flexible laminates:

Meeting the most stringent food and work safety standards

Film-foil and film-film and laminates must resist increasingly to hot water and aggressive fillings during boiling. With this in mind, Henkel has developed Ultra Low Monomer adhesives with a strict minimum of free isocyanate monomers in the composition. This aims at reducing the quantity of primary aromatic amines (PAA) formed from the outset.

An example of these adhesives would be Loctite Liofol LA 3712 / LA 6222, a 2-K solvent-based laminating adhesive designed for medium to medium-high performance. Just after lamination, this product is indeed PAA-free. It is applicable for a wide range of laminates, setting a new food safety benchmark within the industry. Thanks to the content of isocyanate monomer much under 0.1%, the adhesive will be exempted from the future regulation following the ECHA proposal for diisocyanate restriction (October 2016). Moreover, the innovative adhesive system improves converting productivity, allowing for slitting to be made within 24 h.

Technomelt Supra and Technomelt Cleaner Pure: For a safer machine maintenance

Technomelt Supra adhesives comply with legal requirements on food safety

Aiming at packaging suppliers and food producers, Henkel develops Technomelt Supra adhesives complying with legal requirements on food safety. The company holds a triple safety evaluation competence for this kind of adhesives, including supplier info evaluation, raw materials and end products analyses, and toxicological tests. Thus Henkel makes sure that potentially migrating substances such as mineral oils will not go beyond specific regulation limits.

Today, Henkel is expanding its product offer by two new solutions for exceptionally clean runs. These were developed in order to increase overall packaging lines' performance and cut down costs. Technomelt Supra 222 Plus boasts high adhesion and heat resistance. Technomelt Supra 200 Plus is aimed at ultra-high-speed packaging.

Another new product developed with a safer equipment maintenance in mind is Technomelt Cleaner Pure, a high-performance surface cleaner with a considerably lower CLP classification: H319, as opposed to conventional cleaners bearing H226, H304, H315 or H317 ones. Thus, operators using this product for cleaning only have to wear goggles.

Low-temperature adhesives: Improved safety and sustainability

Another new adhesive by Henkel, Technomelt Cool 190, is an all-rounder with high adhesion and thermostability. The product is used in a wide range of paper boards, being processed at 120...150 ºC only, resulting in a considerable work safety improvement. On the other hand, this cuts down power consumption during packaging.

Increased on-the-run lamination quality

Another new development by Henkel is Lio-Scan, an inline non-destructive contactless system for coating weight measurement designed for flexible laminates. This system is retrofittable at most commonly used laminating machines. Lio-Scan increases process reliability, indicating any deviation from the specified coating weight in real time. This reduces both potential customer claims and material waste. The innovative system's infrared sensor oscillates automatically, moving along the web sideways with no contact with the film and measuring isocyanate content. This way, the highest possible coating weight precision is attained. Lio-Scan covers the entire web width. It can be used for transparent films, printed/metallized films and aluminum of various thicknesses alike.


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