The GlueTalk Blog

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Green Is the New Blue for UV Fluorescing Adhesives

Posted 05/09/2018 by Stephanie Lilje, Marketing Associate Converting Solutions, EIMEA

How much adhesive is included in a regular food package? Can you actually detect the total amount of adhesive in a corrugated case or a box of breakfast cereal? Adhesives are indeed a small part of packages, and the most visible components are plastic or carton. However, to ensure safety to consumers, the supply chain needs to be closely connected, including thorough raw materials selection.

Choosing the right adhesive can generate efficiencies in the production line, better product performance, and enable compliance with regulations and consequent consumer safety. With the growth of retail chains, this is a very hot topic for food packaging makers.

Are consumers safe?

Everybody wants to be safe, and this is the pressing challenge for both manufacturers and consumers.

The migration of contaminants, such as saturated hydrocarbons including MOSH, MOAH and POSH, has been a key concern for the packaging making industry and a sensitive topic, particularly when sustainability efforts result in increased use of recycled materials. Because food safety is so important, when any new adhesive raw material is being considered, its impact on food safety should be evaluated. Even though corrugated boxes or folding cartons do not usually come in direct contact with food products, we provide packaging makers with food contact status declarations and continuously work in solutions that give them further ownership of the compliance process, through all stages of the manufacturing process.

I know it when I see it

Green chemical in a beaker. Aiming for a zero-defects process, packaging manufacturers are using quality control technologies during production, such as integrated sensors and camera detection mechanisms, to track and adjust adhesive application in real time, via UV detection systems. Many of these systems work using blue UV light, and adhesives containing blue fluorescing agents are widely used and typically fulfill requirements for food contact regulations, such as FDA 175.105 for adhesives or FDA 176.180 for paper and paperboard in contact with dry food. However, optical brighteners added to make boards appear white also fluoresce under blue UV light, reducing the efficiency of the adhesive detection system, especially on recycled boards. So, how to make the adhesive visible when brighteners added to board are fluorescing at the same UV length? Detection systems manufacturers selected the green/yellow UV wavelength, and the adhesive manufacturers’ goal is to keep adhesives identifiable in any context, while complying with regulations.

Our experts took on the challenge and developed products using fluorescing agents in the yellow-green spectrum, which fulfill both the visibility and food safety requirements. Our regulatory team, together with external assessment by ISEGA, found no negative impact from addition of the fluorescing agent. This development is included in our Swift®tak adhesives range, covering a wide range of packaging making applications.

You’re safe with us

The formulation of our adhesives has been closely tied to optimizing performance with camera detection systems, which is vital to maximizing the affect of quality control technology. Also, by being transparent, we are helping our customers strengthen the relationship with their own customers, thus enabling a cycle of trust and accountability within the industry.

Cardboard in a machine. Packaging manufacturers need a strong partner with technical expertise that understands today’s market and supply chain, helping them solve their unique challenges and meet regulatory requirements. We can provide you with technical support and guidance every step of the way. Plus, our innovative range of UV fluorescing adhesives brings new confidence to the process of zero-defect detection for manufacturers of corrugated board, folding cartons, bags, sacks and pouches. Wish to improve your quality control performance? Contact us today!


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