RadTech Pursues FDA Clearance for UV/EB Food Packaging

CHEVY CHASE, MD, USA—RadTech reports it's pursuing explicit Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for packaging manufactured with ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) cured materials. According to the UV/EB industry non-profit trade association, it's attempting to get food packaging clearances for direct food contact with UV- or EB-cured materials, such as coatings, inks, and adhesives.

Says RadTech president David Diehl, "The fast-growing and already wide use of UV and EB in the package converting industry is driving this initiative. While thermally cured solvent and water-borne systems have been used by the food packaging industry for many years, there virtually are no basic componets listed as of yet by the FDA for the relatively recent strong emergence of UV and EB ink, adhesive, and coating formulations."

Adds RadTech board member Ron Golden, "Without FDA clearance, when UV and EB are used in food packaging, care must be taken to assure that there's a 'functional barrier' between the cured UV or EB formulation and the food. Consequently—although significant performance and productivity cost benefits are possible with UV and EB—end users have only limited ability to specify UV or EB materials in food packaging applications, such inserts and game pieces for snack foods, lid materials, folding carton exteriors, pouches for various types of seasonings and gravy mixes, and the like. Explicit FDA clearance would be a breakthrough; [it would offer] food packaging end users much broader access to all the significant advantages of functional UV- and EB-cured inks, coatings, and/or adhesives."

RadTech says nearly 50 of its members attended the initiative's first planning meeting, with the group forming a new RadTech-sponsored "FDA Food Packaging Alliance." The trade association adds Keller & Heckman, Washington, DC, has been retained to administer the initiative. For more information on joining the alliance, contact RadTech at uveb@radtech.org or visit radtech.org.



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