RTE German Food Packaging Seminar 2008

On the 18.9.08, RADTECH EUROPE organised the “German Food Packaging Seminar” for UV printing and food packaging.  The seminar took place in Nürtingen where it was hosted for the German-speaking regions ofEurope. 

Following a brief welcome by the main organiser, Mr Timo Corporaal (Executive Director of RADTECH EUROPE) and the venue host Mr Dirk Jägers, Technical Director of IST METZ, 12 highly competent speakers from industry and science provided guests with a current overview of UV printing in food packaging.

This was positively supported by the welcoming ambience of the IST METZ training floor, which was set up many years ago by the then director Joachim Jung (who passed away in 2007) for precisely this purpose: Inter-company events for the benefit of UV-technologies.

The keynote speech was stimulating, as expected of Dr V.Rochelli of IRC Pack,Italy.  With reference to the “past subject of ITX”, Mr Rochelli was able to scientifically show that in Italy ITX in the packaging industry was never migrated “into food” in any relevant volumes; and that current scientific opinion thus suggests consumers from very young to very old were not and are not at any risk from modern packaging due to the minimal level of migrated ITX (then in baby milk).

The Fraunhofer Institut IVV Freising, Dr. A.Störmer, informed us of the new limit values for the migration of the constituents of packaging into food through direct contact, which now apply toGermany andEurope.  And with inks (all types including UV-based) being components of modern functional packaging, Ms M.Rüter of FABES FORSCHUNGS GMBH demonstrated the risk evaluation of print inks for food.  A weak point to which every packaging manufacturer remains susceptible is and shall continue to be the SET-OFF of finished packaging in a roll or by sheet feed from a stack.  The same also applies to plastic-based packaging.

The manufacturers of “hardening units” for UV were able to seamlessly demonstrate that their factories only produce “hardened UV systems”.  With the result that very little and even no SET-OFF occurs in food packaging. Ink manufacturers and their raw materials suppliers provided information on the products required in order to ensure the availability of low migration colours in the industry.     

The day spent in Nürtingen examining the theme of packaging was rounded off with the subject of flexographic printing, with a machine manufacturer and a flexo printer examining the production of packaging with acrylate inks and paints.

The presence of over 90 participants from all areas of the printing industry, including numerous dye manufacturers, clearly showed just how important the subject of “migration in food packaging” is to the packaging industry. 
In summing up the highly informative day, Mr Corporaal and Dr. Küter (Berufsgenossenschaft Druck und Papier from Germany) stressed the importance of the positive interdisciplinary cooperation of all those involved in the UV printing process for food packaging; cooperation previously enjoyed through the professional UV working group and something that must become even more intense in the future due to the “critical political circumstances facing the food packaging industry” 

Tensions arising from the present!! A very important reason for this tension is demonstrated by the politics of the day:  The melamine scandal in food inChina!Although this has taken place inChina, this subject is constantly relevant inEurope too:  Somehow “contaminated food” are repeatedly entering the distribution lines, with no control being effected in the eyes of European consumers, and with the contaminated food then being sold on to and consumed by unsuspecting consumers – such as you and I – without any “comeback”.  These “contaminated food” and the harmful substances that they contain are highly hazardous to people and the environment and result in guaranteed damage to the health of all life forms. 

It is thus desirable for all participants in the production of food packaging that the lawmakers put in place strict directives to govern those food destined for packaging, in equal measure to those governing all of us involved in the production of the modern food packaging itself.  The European packaging industry conforms to this standard. 

And this modern packaging has been scientifically proven to maintain the value of the food that it holds.

Further information is available from:
Berufsgenossenschaft Druck und Papierverarbeitung                  
Dr. Bernhard Küter                                                                    
Rheinstraße 6-8
D-65185 Wiesbaden                                                                          
Phone: +49 (0)611-131-326
Fax: +49 (0)611-131-319
E-Mail: chemie@bgdp.de