Ahead of this September's Food Contact Asia 2022, we spoke with Evert Delbanco, Ph.D, Director Food Safety & Toxicology at Siegwerk, to get a sneak peek of what we can expect from his presentation on 'German Ink Ordinance – consequences for conformity of printed FCMs'. Here's what he had to say...
Current Industry Focus:
Q1. As consumers/end users continually push for more sustainable/greener/safer solutions, what do you think is the biggest concern regarding food contact materials/packaging?
We need an integrated approach among the different manufacturers to share knowledge and information transparently when it comes to packaging safety. While we talk about recyclability of packaging , we should always remember that inks is an integral part of every packaging structure which also have an impact on the quality of the final recyclate.
Q2. What are some of the biggest opportunities gaining attention within the food contact field? How has your company chosen to react/adapt to stay on trend?
People are getting more and more sensitive towards their health and hence any subject that concerns food safety will immediately draw the attention of consumers as well as regulators. Regulators across the globe including Asia , are now developing stringent regulations around the Food Contact Material / Packaging material to make sure that food delivered to the consumer comes with a safe packaging. Additionally , many countries have already made their intentions clear about the use of the recycled content in the Food Packaging material and this is an area which needs serious considerations from all the stakeholders in the packaging supply chain. Siegwerk globally as well as in Asia is considered as the market leader for packaging inks for sensitive applications and hence we don’t react but work proactively with different associations , brand owners and even regulators to create standards/ specifications for ensuring consumer safety.
Q3. What industry topics are getting the most attention at this time? How are these factors influencing the future of food contact packaging/materials?
In my opinion , maintaining the balance between a safe and sustainable packaging is the key. The brand owners and package developers have ramped up the designing and innovation of new packaging structures with high sustainability standards. One of their key requirements now is that the printing ink must be formulated to ensure that migration risk is minimised not compromising the ink performance. This requirement reemphasises the need for safe packaging inks to safeguard that there is no migration concern from the final packaging material.
Q4. What does your company/organization hope to achieve over the next 5 years with regards to the future of food contact packaging/materials industry?
Siegwerk with its vision of supplying the safest inks in the world , has committed to raise the bar on packaging safety and set new benchmarks in the domain of packaging safety. Siegwerk is the only ink manufacturer that is globally committed to EuPIA exclusion policy and prohibits the use of hazardous solvents like Toluene & Mineral Oils for their food packaging inks across all their entities , going even beyond the legal obligations esp. in Asian countries. This shows our commitment to Food Safety and we intend to set new benchmarks in next five years which includes our work on topics like PFAS , EDC’s etc.
We also have been developing solutions to support the CE drive across the Asian market including the trend for paperization , mono-material structures and even barrier coatings. Needless to say , while we contribute to sustainable packaging , we do not make any compromise on packaging safety.
Q5. What opportunities are there for harmonization of food contact regulations in the Asia Pacific region?
In my opinion , Asian countries are evolving in terms of their understanding on the subject of Packaging safety. We are already witnessing some strong developments across the Asian market , with development happening in China , India, Thailand , Indonesia and more. Even the Asian countries are raising the bar on packaging safety with the entire ecosystem working together , where we see regulators driving the change with developments of the regulations and brand owners supporting the drive by promoting the implementation of new standards. However , we need to understand that these developments are not harmonized. Nevertheless, we are very positive that these regulations if eventually harmonized will support local manufacturers for developing their global markets.
Q6. Your presentation at this year’s event is German Ink Ordinance – consequences for conformity of printed FCMs. Why is it important for others in your industry to hear this message? What are some of the key take-aways?
It is important to understand the whole legal context in Europe including the specific impact and timelines of the German Ink Ordinance for future compliance work.