Innovia Films launches first BOPP film that protects against mineral oil

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Innovia Films first BOPP film mineral oil

Related tags Mineral oil

Innovia Films has launched its first BOPP film called Propafilm RCU, proven to provide up to 1.5 years protection from mineral oil migration.

The film is ideal for products such as biscuits, bakery, confectionery, dried foods, tea and cereals and is a complimentary alternative to its NatureFlex film. 

Launch expanded to Austria and Switzerland

Neil Hudson, one of the researchers in the Innovia Films white paper.

Andy Sweetman, marketing manager, packaging and sustainability, Innovia Films, told FoodProductionDaily the film had a soft launch in Germany late last year and will now be extended to Switzerland and Austria.

This particular type of film wasn’t on our radar until a couple of years’ ago when Dr Koni Grob, from the official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, carried out a number of tests and raised it as a potential issue​,” he said.

We decided to launch it in Germany first because this is where the food scare around mineral oil originated and we are now widening our launch to other Germanic countries. The UK is looking into the benefits of the film but it isn’t as high profile there yet​.

Innovia Films published its research results in a peer reviewed white paper: ‘Mineral Oil Barrier Testing of Cellulose-based and Polypropylene-based films’, last October.

The investigation focused on the mineral oil hydrocarbon (MOH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbon (MOAH).

Traces of mineral oil residues in food are believed to come from printing inks on a packaging surface and in recycled newspapers, used in the production of cardboard packaging. Most commonly used newspaper inks contain mineral oils.

Pasta, rice, breakfast cereals & biscuits 

These cannot be removed during the recycling process and can enter cardboard food packaging. The resdiues can migrate at room temperature and deposited on dried foods packaged in the box, such as pasta, rice, breakfast cereals and biscuits. 

MOAH are suspected of being carcinogens, according to the World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).   

Simon Buckley, analytical services manager, Innovia Films, and one of the authors of the research paper said the test method included exposure, extraction and instrumental phases where virgin cardboard was spiked centrally with 0.5 ml of undiluted paraffinic mineral oil.

The material was in direct contact with the barrier which was in direct contact with the receptor, a filtration paper from Whatman (15cm diameter) and samples were kept at 40⁰C.

In the extraction and instrumental phase, the receptor was added to a conical flask for sonication and allowed to soak for 24 hours in pentane. The resulting pentane extract was concentrated and injected onto the GC-FID.

Optimum coat weight of acrylic

We calculated 1.5 years protection after indepth studies looking at the time it takes to break through a piece of film when we get a complete barrier​,” he said. 

The research took into account the chemistry of the film and how long it takes to diffuse the structure. The final product is the result of a long period of testing and validation with external third parties to endorse the film.​”

The findings proved Propafilm RCU, the proprietary acrylic coated film provides an effective barrier to mineral oil migration and further analysis identified the optimum coat weight of acrylic required to maximise the barrier protection.

Sweetman added, the film is printable and can be used on a range of machines, including vertical and horizontal form-fill-seal (VFFS/HFFS).  Propafilm RCU is ideal for pre-made bags and lamination to other films.

The contributors of the Innovia Films white paper were: Gary O’Connor, Neil Hudson and Simon Buckley, Packaging Technology & Science, DOI: 10.1002 /pts. 2082, Copyright (2014), John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published online in Wiley Online Library.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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