DIC-PrintWeek webinar focuses on toluene-free ink

Amit Ray of Vijayneha and brand owners such as HUL spoke about how they minimised migration risks in food packaging and how they produce a safe product for the consumers

25 Oct 2021 | By Aultrin Vijay

Sriraam Selvam, Amit Ray, Debashish Dasgupta and Utsab Choudhuri

Printing inks manufacturing giant DIC and PrintWeek jointly hosted a webinar focusing on toluene-free packaging inks on 21 October 2021.

The webinar, titled Toluene-free Food Packaging: The background, impact and way forward, saw industry experts and brand owners sharing their views and experience on how they minimised migration risks in food packaging using toluene-free inks.

Amit Ray of Vijayneha Polymers, Debashish Dasgupta and Rashi Dhiman of HUL, Sagar Singh of Bureau of Indian Standards, and Utsab Choudhuri of DIC India shared how they produce a safe product for the consumers.

During the webinar, Amit Ray, vice chairman of Vijayneha Polymers, stated, "There is a significant growth in the packaging industry, whether it is tin containers or flexible packaging. In the flexible packaging, roughly two thirds of the total pie is food packaging with the highest growth rate. The rest is non-food."

He also expressed that water-based inks is a technology that needs to be harnessed. “It is safe, has no toluene content, and ink gsm will be lower. Running speeds are lower, but it has been improved significantly. Machines should be designed to handle water-based inks."

Meanwhile, Sagar Singh, deputy director, chemical department, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) mentioned how BIS and FSSAI are raising the bar on packaging safety and thereby pushing the packaging supply chain to be safer than ever before

Singh said, "Post Covid-19 consumers are much more careful about hygiene and food safety - and hence the packaging supply chain will also be required to align themselves to the new food safe expectations"

Singh spoke about the ban of toluene-based inks for food packaging applications under the IS15495 regulation. He spoke about other standard guidelines for printing inks for use on food packaging

Rashi Dhiman of HUL said, "With the Indian regulation on food safety tightening, inks will become a top priority. Today, brands will be looking for support from the ink industry in terms of affordable inks, particularly green inks, and support from the converters in terms of GMPs"

As far as the regulation is concerned, it needs to bridge some gaps such as providing clarity on residual values to avoid any confusion on compliances and active support to MSME converters to ensure coverage of full compliance across India.