Functional barrier solutions for improved food safety

Food safety is a top priority when AR Packaging is developing new packaging technologies. Unwanted substances such as traces of mineral oil in food and its packaging is a long-standing concern that the industry needs to address. As a clear response, AR Packaging, with its in-depth barrier expertise, can offer several functional barrier solutions to its customers.

In recent years, mainly mineral oil has been in public discussion and several media and organisations, including Foodwatch, have reported traces of mineral oil in both food and its packaging. Mineral oil traces may derive from different sources, ranging from the direct treatment of food with oil, via lubricants, to direct absorption from the environment. Recovered paper and board also contain these oils, with printing-ink components from the recovered paper used, especially newsprint, being identified as a source.

With its expertise in barrier packaging technology, AR Packaging can offer several different solutions to this concern. To protect food from external contamination and unwanted influences, such as mineral oil, a functional barrier is the best solution. AR Packaging combines barrier expertise in coating, laminates and films with unique know-how in tight and direct food contact packaging. For example, the Group company Flextrus offers barrier extrusion coatings or lamination directly on the reverse side of virgin fibre and recycled fibre board materials, creating a strong functional barrier.

Another example is the Group’s Performance Packaging segment, which focuses on tight barrier and direct food contact packaging systems based on laminated carton board. Laminates with aluminium or EVOH (ethyl vinyl alcohol copolymer) barriers, combined with the tight primary packaging design, also allow MAP (modified atmosphere packaging) filling with excellent oxygen, moisture and mineral oil barrier.

Another technology is Safeboard® which was developed by the Group in France. Safeboard is a unique in-line process for the application of customised barrier coatings. These type of coatings can be applied on virgin and recycled fibre materials as reverse-side or front- and reverse-side coating. Safeboard’s coating is regarded as a mono-material solution and therefore generally fully recyclable.