Huber
Huber-Micro launches MGA range of inks in India speaking at the launch event of MGA range of Inks in Delhi, India. Photo PSA

Considering these new age demands, the Huber-Micro Group in India has launched a range of MGA branded inks and solutions aimed at the folding carton segment. This new MGA range comprises of special low-migration and low-odor offset inks for maximum safety in food package printing. MGA is a standard that Huber Group has defined specifically for printing inks to be used on food packaging. According to the company, its MGA Policy far more demanding than the legal requirements in avoiding risks of contamination.

Ashwani Bhardwaj, managing director of Hubergroup India Pvt. Ltd. (formerly Micro Inks) said, “When you are doing a normal and routine job, there may not be any overriding necessity of using these inks. However, in today’s world, consumers’ awareness levels are higher. As an ink supplier to the industry, we have a moral responsibility to provide safe consumables. As the regulatory framework is far more stringent than what it was earlier, brand owners, converters and stakeholders must be on the same page in terms of providing packaging which answers all the questions rather than create new ones. Our range of MGA inks is aimed at increasing the shelf life of packaged foods as well as make it safer for the end consumer.”

According to the company, the Indian packaging market is one of the most dynamic markets with huge scope of growth in the next few years. For instance, countries like Germany, China and Taiwan have a per capita consumption of packaging of 42 kg, 6 kg and 19 kg respectively whereas India stands at around 4.3 kg at the moment. Nevertheless, with a growth rate in the realm of 13–15% every year, the Indian packaging industry is among the top growing industries in the world.

Inks aimed at low migration low odor primary food packaging 1
L – R: Heiner Ringer, chairman and member of the executive board and Ursula Borgmann, CEO and chief technology officer, Huber Group in Delhi, India. Photo PSA

The MGA Natura brand of inks are aimed at the non-UV or conventional segment of offset printing. They have been specially developed for primary food packaging with good organoleptic (low odor, low taint) and low migration properties on cardboard and other absorbent substrates. The NewV pack MGA inks are aimed at UV printers. Although these inks comply with all the pre-requisite international standards, using these inks as a single measure is not sufficient for complying with food packaging printing. Various other factors such as coatings, auxiliaries, fount solution and roller treatment in an offset press must meet these stringent requirements.

These inks are produced at Huber’s plant in Munich, Germany where, according to the company, they can be finished to form process colour inks as well as spot colour inks. The facility is completely segregated from its other range of inks to avoid any kind of contamination.

The Huber-Micro Group has already launched its Gecko brand of inks for flexible packaging applications last year. The Gecko inks for flexo and gravure processes are designed keeping in mind important global regulations and are manufactured under strict Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines with a key focus on ‘safety first’ for flexible packaging inks in the Indian food segment.

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The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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