DIC suggests alternatives to banning toluene-based inks

Good manufacturing practices in food packaging

Utsab Choudhuri, senior vice president, head – Technology at DIC India Limited. Photo PSA

Noida-based DIC India is a part of the DIC Corporation based in Japan. The company is one of the largest printing ink manufacturers in India, with R&D centers in Kolkata and Noida. With manufacturing facilities in Noida, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata, the members of the DIC Group supply to national and international printers and convertors across the globe. While DIC India’s Noida facility manufactures liquid inks and news inks, its Ahmedabad plant manufactures water-based inks. The Bengaluru plant manufactures laminating adhesives and the Kolkata-based plant manufactures offset printing inks.

DIC India recently launched its flexo inks, an environment-friendly product which was established in the US and UK long back. Flexo capability is new in the Indian marketplace. DIC even claims to have the best technology for flexo inks in the market. The company is currently working on bringing out new innovations in water-based, CI flexo, narrow web and UV flexo inks.

Food packaging inks

In addition, DIC is looking at another important aspect in food packaging, which has been a point of concern for the industry in recent times – the ill-effects of using toluene-based inks in packaging, especially packaging of food products.

The DIC inks lab at Noida. Photo PSA

“We agree that human health should not be affected due to packaging. Food packaging must not contain any kind of harmful chemicals or any substance that has an adverse effect on the health of an individual. This should be a legal obligation, which can be verified at the time of printing or converting. But at the same time, ban on such inks all of a sudden is also not the way out. It will unsettle even the major players in the packaging industry. We at DIC have taken this seriously and we suggest the industry follows a set of norms for making the packaging safe,” says Utsab Choudhuri, senior vice president, head – Technology at DIC India Limited.

According to Choudhuri, there are a few simple steps that can be followed in order to avoid the contamination. Firstly, one must identify the product that needs to be packaged followed by the packaging design and checking if the food is in direct contact with the packaging. “If the food is in direct contact with the packaging, one can always use a barrier to avoid the direct contact. Apart from this, one needs to identify the effect of a particular packaging on the shelf-life of the product. Lastly, one must observe the sensitivity of the market based on its geographical location. We have so many other factors to focus upon before simply planning a blanket ban on toluene-based inks,” he adds.

Food packaging is often manufactured in a way that under normal and foreseable  conditions of use, it does not transfer its constituents to the food product in quantities which could endanger human health. No packaging is manufactured in a way that it brings unacceptable change in the composition of the food. This leads to the definition of migration in food packaging, which says that the packaging components should not migrate to the food which may make it unsafe for human consumption.

“Good manufacturing practices are the key to avoid food contamination. There must be a clear definition of the product specifications, starting from the packaging of food. Next, we need to understand the composition of the food as well as the composition of the potential migrants used in the printing inks and the coatings. All this information must be shared with the consumer as well. We can work with the brand owners on the statement of composition (SOC), while identifying the risks involved with contamination of the packaging components,” Choudhuri concludes.

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia.is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

In an admittedly fragmented and textured terrain, this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing support communication – in our impactful and highly targeted business platform. Tell us what you need. Speak and write to our editorial and advertising teams! For advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in , for editorial info@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here