Is Digital U.V. Inkjet Printing Safe for Food Labels?

There are different kinds of labels. The choice will depend on the type of application and the technologies that will be used to create them. This is why it is exciting to learn about different printing materials for labels.

The materials used for printing labels also matter according to the products. An example would be the use of tamper-proof labels for pharmaceutical products. Since it is crucial that the content stays protected, the use of labels that offer a layer of security is encouraged.

What about food labels? Are the materials for making them safe?

Labels, packaging, and Migration

The main issue about food packaging and labels is the concept of migration. In this concept, there is a concern about the possibility of having substances from the packaging and product labels to the packed food items. The dangers of contaminating the food should be eliminated by clearly defining what materials can release its substances to the content.

Factors that contribute to migration include the size of the ink molecule, temperature, nature of the packaged food, nature of the packaging, and the type of coating.

Dry Toners

Upon comparison, dry toners have smaller molecules compared to liquid ink. This means that it has a lesser tendency to migrate. Aside from this advantage, pigment is the colorant used to create different dry toner colors. Basically, a pigment is not considered a migrant so it further strengthens the notion that it is a safer alternative for printing food labels.

U.V. and Inkjet Labels

Just like dry toners, water-based inkjet uses pigments for color so it does not have a migration tendency. U.V. curable inkjet, on the other hand, has a low viscosity making it more likely to penetrate paper when not properly cured.

For both types of inks, the problem about migration can be solved by using a primer. The primer will work as a protective layer where unwanted particles can’t penetrate. Also, there are new technologies that are currently used for inkjet printers. New printers are more advanced that they significantly lower the chances of migration.

Print Quality

Packaging food is a huge challenge among marketers. The choice of packaging and labels directly affects the sales performance of the product. Print quality for the labels must be prioritized because it is an important aspect that should be considered.

U.V. Inkjet VS Dry Toners

Print-wise, both dry toners and inkjet can produce quality prints. Both also qualify as food-grade standard printing processes. When it comes to choosing between the two, the use of technology should also be scrutinized. For example, Hampshire Label has the Durst Tau 330E and the Mark Andy P5 Flexo Press printers. They offer low cost printing of inkjet labels and U.V. labels plus a quick turnaround of the digital process.

Time is crucial with a food processing business. A strict timeline should be followed starting from making the products down to packaging and the printing of labels. With this in mind, you can be assured that the labels are food-grade safe and are made fast that there will be no problems during production.