Henkel Adhesives’ engagement with the industry

Growing food safety awareness in India

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Henkel Adhesives flexible packaging academy building in Navi Mumbai

“We have been conducting workshops in various cities, both metro and non-metro. We have tried to create more awareness in smaller cities and among smaller brands about food safety issues. In addition to efforts put in by stakeholders like us, modern technology has also played a very vital role in spreading the awareness,” says Jayachandran Nair, business manager – flexible packaging adhesive, Henkel Adhesives Technologies India.

The road shows will continue this year as well and not only will these messages be reinforced but Henkel will take the food safety message to the next level, such as imparting information about Primary Aromatic Amine (PAA), which is a group of chemical substances from the wider group of amines. PAA specifically carries an aromatic residue. They are used industrially, for instance, to manufacture azo dyes and certain polymers. Certain PAA present a toxicological concern as they have been identified as carcinogenic. Because of this specific hazard, PAA stand out among the non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) found in flexible packaging. This means that special attention must be paid to ensure that they do not migrate into food at detectable levels.

Henkel Adhesives’ engagement with the industry 2
A workshop session in progress

For this year, Henkel has planned road shows in cities like Chennai, Indore and Ludhiana. It has also planned to connect customers and stakeholders with experts not only physically but also digitally. Throughout the year, Henkel will organize webinars where global experts from the flexible packaging industry will talk on various issues related to food safety.

On the regulation front in India, too, things have improved with FSSAI consolidating the plethora of archaic laws that previously existed. Nair believes FSSAI now has to set up labs, impart knowledge and put laws into practice. He adds that the industry has finally come to terms with the fact that laws will get stricter. “Our customers now ask us for food safety statement. There is almost 100% increase in request for food safety statement in the last couple years,” Nair informs.

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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

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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– Naresh Khanna

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