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Market concern triggers Amcor development of BPA-free lacquer

By Rory Harrington , 23-Apr-2010
Last updated on 23-Apr-2010 at 13:16 GMT2010-04-23T13:16:53Z

Amcor Flexibles’ development of a bisphenol A-free lacquer system for its Alufix peel-off end membranes has been driven by client and consumer concern over the chemical.

The new lacquer, which is also melamine-free, will be applied on the existing Amcor Alufix Dry and Amcor Alufix Dry PRO membrane foils. The new coating was developed in collaboration with milk powder and nutritional food manufacturers for closures in response to a request from Nestle, company marketing manager Bertrand Jannon told FoodProductionDaily.com.

“This move is a mixture of market pull and our own initiative to be green,” he added. “Where it makes sense and where the market expects it of us, we have the strategy to develop BPA–free products.”

The new lacquer was launched onto the market in the first quarter of 2010, said Christoph Dietrich, product development manager of Amcor Flexibles Singens.

"We are very proud that we are now able to supply a 100 per cent BPA and melamine free peel-off end membrane, which fulfils the recent recommendation of the food and drug administration regarding baby food can linings,” he added. “We are responding to the regulatory issues moving up the agenda.But mainly this is being driven by consumer and client concern over BPA. The move towards the elimination of BPA is how the market is going.”

He said the innovation, combined with the Alufix’s barrier properties, “makes cans a safe and reliable packaging solution". The company said the closures requires 50 per cent less force compared to traditional ring-pull ends.

Continued use of BPA in food contact materials has become a major talking point in packaging materials in recent years. The chemical is used in food can linings and polycarbonate baby bottles. In January, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it had “some concern” about the chemical but said it still believed it to be safe. It supported reducing human exposure to the substance including the development of alternatives to BPA in the the linings of infant formula cans.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is due to deliver an updated opinion on the chemical by the end of next month. In March, Denmark became the first European country to ban BPA in food contact materials for children aged 0-3.

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