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Food contact materials and articles: Printing Inks

Check lists for compliance in industry and trade and control by food inspection

image of Food contact materials and articles: Printing Inks

In-house control and the documentation of it is the basis for the assurance of compliance with legislation, in the food area and in the area of food contact materials (FCM). Safe use of FCM is a complicated area, in general, and specifically the use of printing inks and the critical points in the printing process. One of the goals for this check list is to contribute to the development of more uniform control and requirements for in-house control. Printing inks used in FCM are regulated by these general requirements and some uses are addressed more specifically , and as there is no specific legislation in the area in EU yet. In-house documentation is based on the assumption, that each link in the supply chain ensures compliance. The check lists set a frame with minimum requirements to all relevant links in the supply chain from producers to food industry and trade. The check lists are guidance to industry and trade in order to ensure compliance with the requirements in the FCM.

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Chemicals used in printing inks

Colorants include insoluble particles of pigments or solutions of dyes in a varnish or vehicle. The particles of pigments are usually within a size of 0.01–2 micrometer and dispersion agent must be added to ensure that they do not agglomerate. (SNT, 2003; Kipphan, 2001). The industry inventory list of colorants includes 263 different substances. Most of these are pigments which are the mainly used type of coloring agent, whereas dyes represent only a minor proportion of the total. None of the colorants on the inventory list has been evaluated by EFSA. Pigments are inorganic or organic based and different categories of these are mentioned below.

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