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Paper Industry Develops Protection against Migration of Mineral Oils into Foodstuffs

Consumer health and safety is the top priority for the European Paper and Carton board Industry as well as respecting sustainability and the ecological goal of a recycling economy. The most recent challenges concentrated on preventing newly detected migration of mineral oils from newspaper- and packaging printing inks into carton board packed foodstuff. The industry along with its partners in the supply chain has made all efforts to find solutions to this issue.

The breakthrough has been achieved. Mayr-Melnhof Karton has developed with ‘Foodboard’, an innovative barrier applied on the reverse side of the board, stopping migration of mineral oils into foodstuff. The positive results have been successfully implemented in first industrial production runs.

The effectiveness of the ‘Foodboard’ barrier is proven and confirmed by the internationally-respected migration research centre, FABES headed by Dr. Otto Piringer, who says: "Applying the barrierboard less than 1% of the potential migrating substances into Tenax were measured compared with the extracted initial quantity." Therefore migration is blocked by more than 99 % and is always below the often mentioned safety limit of 0,6 mg/kg for mineral oils if ‘Foodboard’ is applied according to its intended use.

The new innovative barrier, an element of the positive list, provides not only comprehensive protection against migration of mineral oils from the printed folding carton but also from the outer- and transport packaging (cross-contamination).

The demand of the food industry and retailers will determine the capacity dimensions and corresponding investments. The board innovation and the carefully, selected barrier substance, guarantee both food safety as well as a sustainable, environmentally responsible recycled paper- based packaging industry.