Siegwerk announces the launch of mineral oil-free inks

Siegwerk has announced their decision to launch mineral oil-free inks in India for packaging purposes. The inks supplied by Siegwerk from its plant at Bhiwadi in Rajasthan will not contain mineral oils as an intentionally added substance, that comprises of two fractions — mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH). Over the last three years, Siegwerk had taken up the pioneering initiative to remove the usage of another harmful substance – toluene – from its manufacturing process.

11 Dec 2020 | By Rahul Kumar

The Siegwerk plant at Bhiwadi in Rajasthan

Mineral oils are not a chemically well-defined substance, but a highly complex group of various hydrocarbons which are mainly derived from crude oil. Packaging inks are a mixture of various ingredients and some of these chemicals are able to migrate through the packaging material into the foodstuff. Mineral oil comprises two fractions known as mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH).

Both MOSH and MOAH may have a harmful effect on human health if the foodstuff is contaminated with these during the production process or through the packaging material. The most critical fraction is represented by PAH with three-seven rings and no or little alkylation. These substances are genotoxic carcinogens, whereas some highly alkylated MOAH can act as tumour promoters but are not carcinogens themselves. Nevertheless, MOAH can accumulate in the human body and therefore migration of MOAH into food should not be detectable. In humans exposed to MOSH, microgranulomas have been observed in different organs for substances with a range between C16-C35, whereas no adverse effect was observed for MOSH between C10-C13.

Ashish Pradhan, president, Siegwerk India and Greater China, said, “Although the extent of impact on foodstuff is undetermined by the migration of mineral oil from the packaging, research states that MOSH and MOAH chemicals are likely to be easily absorbed by different tissues in human organs. Siegwerk champions the cause of toluene-free inks in India and now, Siegwerk intends to offer mineral oil free inks, thereby raising the bar on packaging safety and offering further advancements in terms of consumer safety. We understand the importance of safe packaging and are committed to providing safe inks for all kind of applications and hence our decision on a mineral oil-free operation in India. Our commitments will not only further improve the end-consumer’s safety, but also environmental safety, as we will not contribute anymore to the presence of mineral oils in the recycled stream.”

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