The hubergroup Print Solutions operation has a new oxygen barrier coating solution, Hydro-Lac GA Oxygen Barrier Coating, to protect packaged food from oxygen, which it says enables mono-material packaging, which is easier to recycle.
Recyclable packaging solutions are increasingly in demand, however, due to a complex requirement profile, flexible food packaging often consists of combinations of different films, which according to hubergroup can prove difficult to recycle.
“Conventional flexible food packaging often consists of several laminated film layers of different chemical natures. Each fulfils a specific function, one of which is the protection against oxygen,” explained Dr Ralf Buscher, senior expert projects for flexible packaging at hubergorup.
“However, packaging that consists of several plastics cannot be recycled at all, or only with great effort.”
hubergroup uses film laminates made of the same polymers (usually polypropylene or polyethylene), between which they apply the oxygen barrier coating.
An OTR (oxygen transmission rate) of less than 10 cubic centimetres of oxygen per square metre a day can be achieved under industrial conditions when using PP.
Oxygen sensitive foods such as muesli or nuts are thus "excellently protected" from atmospheric oxygen in modern, recyclable packaging, according to Dr Lutz Frischmann, global product director for flexible packaging at hubergroup.
“Through innovative solutions such as our new barrier coating, we can contribute to a circular economy together with our customers,” Frischmann added.
In 2021, hubergroup launched a water barrier coating that protects paper packaging from moisture. With the launch of the oxygen barrier coating, the international printing ink specialist is now pushing the development of sustainable barrier varnishes even further.