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Low migration labels

What is Migration?

Migration is the transfer of chemical compounds from plastic packaging materials into food products.

These chemical compounds are usually present in inks and adhesives that travel through the primary packaging material to contaminate the contents. This can be extremely dangerous when the contents are either food or medicines.

Earlier, migration testing was only performed on containers, closures and other packaging components, excluding labels.

How are Low Migration Labels different from regular labels?

Some factor that affects the “low migration” capacity of the label are:

  • Printing inks with larger molecule sizes are less likely to migrate.
  • Proper UV curing systems ensure lower migration rates. This includes ensuring the absence of oxygen during the curing process.
  • Levels of residual solvents and other volatile substances should be at the lowest level possible for water-based and solvent-based ink to lower the rate of migration.

The term “low migration” is used because a minimal amount of migration will always occur in any kind of plastic packaging, no matter the kind of label used. However, if the migration or interaction takes place within an accepted window set by regulatory authorities, the packaging components are deemed safe for use.

Label stock primarily consists of a combination of a face stock, adhesive and label liner. The label adhesive is the component that has the most contact with the packaging and that contains numerous elements with the potential to reach out and cause contamination.

To learn more about Low Migration Label solutions, send us an email at info@packagingconnections.com

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