Screen & Lintec partner to enhance label & packaging safety

Safety of low migration labels & adhesives for packaged food

Lintec and Screen cooperate to enhance the safety of labels and packaging for health and food products

As the interest in food packaging safety grows across the world, so does the demand for package and label printing technology that protects packaged food from toxic substances. Responding to this trend and ever-stricter regulation, inkjet printer manufacturer Screen has teamed up with adhesives specialist Lintec to ensure the safety of low migration (low permeability) labels and adhesives for packaged food.

Screen Graphic Solutions, a subsidiary of Screen Holdings (Kyoto, Japan), is a manufacturer and supplier of system components for the prepress and printing industries. Its large range of equipment includes the Truepress Jet range of large format inkjet printers, UV inkjet label presses, sheet-fed and web-fed inkjet presses, the Equios workflow system, RIPs, and plate setters. The company is also a well-known manufacturer of equipment for the semiconductor and flat panel display manufacturing industries.

“We consider food packaging safety a responsibility of the entire supply chain. We therefore work with partners whenever possible to enhance the availability of safe and low migration packaging,” says Taishi Motoshige, manager sales, and operations at Screen Europe.

Building on decades of research and development of safe and efficient digital inkjet printing, Screen launched its new low migration label printer three years ago, the Truepress JetL350UV+ LM, which uses uniquely developed low migration inks that offer enhanced safety for food packaging applications. The printer is equipped with a nitrogen purge mechanism for accelerating the drying (also known as ‘curing’) of UV inks, further preventing ink migration. The Truepress JetL350UV+LM is popular in Europe, chosen by dozens of print companies. “Interest in our low migration label print technology remains strong, even in corona times,” says Motoshige.

Choice of adhesives

Although low-migration labels are crucial for food packaging safety, the choice of adhesives used to stick the labels to packaging is also essential.

Lintec, a label materials developer for packaging, has been investing in R&D for years to improve its ultra-low migration adhesives continually. Now, Screen and Lintec have partnered to ensure their technologies work smoothly together, producing food and pharmaceutical labels and packaging fast, efficiently, and following the highest regulatory standards.

“Safety issues related to the migration of ink and adhesive components throughout the food and pharmaceutical supply chain, as well as the potential health hazards that they could pose to end-users, are causes of concern for brand owners and manufacturers. Therefore, label and packaging suppliers face growing demand for solutions that ensure products are protected from contamination caused by inks and adhesives,” says Kazuya Katoh, general manager, Administration Department, R&D Division at Lintec.

Performance of combined low migration technologies

Screen and Lintec ran several independent third-party tests to assess the performance of their combined low migration technologies. According to the press statement, the test results revealed that, when Screen’s Truepress Jet L350UV+LM is combined with Lintec’s ultra-low migration labelstock, the overall migration limit (OML) is 0.6mg/100cm2. “This is an outstanding result, considering the current EU regulation allowance for OML is 10mg/100cm2,” says Motoshige.

By jointly tackling ink migration, “Lintec and Screen are showing their commitment to corporate responsibility and to delivering a product that provides brand owners and end-users the reassurance they need,” adds Katoh.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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