Sun Chemical offset inks for food use

Sun Chemical has developed a new Pace platform for its sheetfed offset inks that uses a new binder technology to achieve higher body and lower tack to cope with issues such as faster machines, lower-quality papers, cost pressures, and sustainability goals. 

The Pace inks use vegetable oil based formulations without PTFE wax to give a high bio-renewable content without compromising on press performance.

Jim Buchanan, Sun Chemical’s global product director for Sheetfed Systems, explained: “Sun Chemical recognises that in such a challenging market, high level productivity is vital to success. The primary objective for the development of this novel technology was to deliver the most stable high-quality performance across a diverse range of printing requirements, including the most challenging of substrates, while ensuring low misting on high-speed modern printing machines. The technology ensures robust, lithographically-stable inks that also support short run production due to its fast responsive nature on both closed loop and manually adjusted colour control systems.”

The first ink to benefit from Pace is the new SunPak FSP EcoPace range, which is designed for low migration ink for food packaging. This range is based on a modular approach that allows printers to interchange the process colours in order to optimise sustainability credentials. As an example, the standard CMYK inks have a C2C Certified Material Health Certificate at Bronze level but this can be upgraded to Platinum by switching the process yellow to a special version.

The process inks have a high average bio-renewable content, or BRC, rating of 78 percent. However, there is an optional high BRC process Black that is based on non-fossil fuel sourced carbon, which has a BRC of 89 percent.

Separately, Sun Chemical has introduced a new ‘green’ shade blue pigment for use with its sheetfed offset direct food contact ink that helps to increase the colour gamut available to the SunPak DirectFood Plus ink range. 

This new pigment has been designed to get around the lack of a green pigment that’s suitable for use with direct food contact printing as those that are available contain residual non-intentionally added substances, or NIAS, that fall foul of regulatory requirements as they could potentially migrate into the food. Using this new base means that a further 1801 colours can now be achieved at a tolerance of Delta E <2 (dE2000) to Digital Master Pantone. 

In line with this, as part of SunColorBox, Sun Chemical has developed GamutViewer software (pictured above) to enable brand owners, designers, and converters to predict if their desired colour is within the gamut of the SunPak DFP ink range before printing out any proofs. There are also new SunDigiGuides swatch books available to illustrate which Master Pantone references are achievable within an acceptable tolerance when using the SunPak DFP ink range, setting expectation for colour upfront that results in speed to market for new product launches.

Patrice Aurenty, global business leader for Sun Chemical Colour Management commented: “This exciting launch demonstrates Sun Chemical’s commitment to R&D. We’re delighted to be able to not only extend the colour gamut available with the new SunPak pigment, but also enable designers and brand owners to achieve their visions clearly with our GamutViewer software and SunDigiGuides. We’re confident that our solutions will enable brand owners and designers to take direct food contact packaging solutions to new heights.”

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