Home Bottling, Canning & Cartoning Europe: Innovia Films launches BOPP film that protects against mineral oil migration

Europe: Innovia Films launches BOPP film that protects against mineral oil migration


Innovia Films has launched its first biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film that has been officially proven to provide up to 1.5 years protection from mineral oil migration – Propafilm RCU.

Its development has been the result of proactive investigation into the mineral oil hydrocarbon (MOH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbon (MOAH) barrier protection of their films.

It included the evaluation of films with multiple laydowns, increased coat weights and one side/two side variations.

This work commenced after earlier studies by Dr Koni Grob, from the official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland identified that foods were being contaminated by migration of mineral oil from paper-board packaging.

Further studies by the UK Food Standards Agency highlighted that safe levels were frequently exceeded in food packaging samples that were tested.

Traces of mineral oil residues in food are thought to arise due to their migration from the printing inks present both on the packaging surface and in recycled newspapers, used in the production of cardboard packaging.

Most commonly used newspaper inks contain mineral oils.

These cannot be removed sufficiently during the recycling process and are thus able to enter cardboard food packaging.

At room temperature these residues can migrate and be 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).

Innovia Films research results were published in a peer reviewed white paper entitled Mineral Oil Barrier Testing of Cellulose-based and Polypropylene-based films in Packaging Technology & Science last year.

The findings proved that their proprietary acrylic coated film provides an effective barrier to mineral oil migration.

Further analysis identified the optimum coat weight of acrylic required to maximize the barrier protection.

This has meant that the development of Propafilm RCU has been fairly rapid.

The film, besides offering excellent barrier, has superior optical properties, a low sealing threshold and a broader sealing range which makes it ideal for use in a variety of markets (biscuits, bakery, confectionery, dried foods, tea and cereals).

“It is exciting to be able to offer the market a cost effective versatile film that ensures proven protection for dried foods,” says Andy Sweetman, Marketing Manager Packaging & Sustainability.

“It is printable and can be used on a range of machines, including vertical and horizontal form-fill-seal.”