Manufacturers widen and deepen best practice for printing inks

The Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Printing Inks for Food Contact Materials issued by the European Printing Ink Association (Eupia) has been updated, and is posing new challenges for industry.

The latest edition of the best practice guide now covers the manufacture of all varnishes and coatings, as well as inks for printing on food contact materials. The Version 4.0 is dated March 2016. The more than 80 manufacturers of inks and varnishes in the association have spent the time between then and now preparing for the launch at more than 160 plants in Europe. Martin Kanert, executive manager at Eupia, summarised the significant changes and process improvements embodied in this upgrade at a presentation to the Smithers Pira conference Plastics and Paper in Contact with Foodstuffs 2016 on 8 December 2016.

 These modifications involve matters that have only recently come within the GMP’s scope, which mainly are inks for applications where contact with food, though not intended, is reasonably foreseeable. Eupia says manufacturers should allocate sufficient time and resources to understand, define, and introduce any changes required, and that these may take several months to achieve full implementation.

The inks, coatings, and varnishes developed and manufactured in compliance with the GMP will support compliance by the manufacturers in supplying products that meet all applicable provisions of European legislation for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

The previous version, dating March 2009, was 13 pages long. Kanert says: ‘This completely updated and more detailed 47-page Good Manufacturing Practice guide now provides a comprehensive reference document, which clearly outlines all steps required to ensure compliance in relation to food packaging and safeguard against potential hazards.’

For direct food contact inks and coatings Version 4.0 presents a more rigorous process for selecting raw materials and formulation design. The goal is to minimise non-intentionally added substances (Nias) as impurities. Additionally it recommends implementing more controls for contamination from previous batches and cleaning materials, and on hygiene.

This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.

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