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Toyo Ink announce EB inksAt the end of January 2017, Toyo Ink Co. announced a new line of electron beam curable flexo inks. The line, named the Elex-one series, is an ideal ink set for food packaging applications. The announcement comes as little surprise; there is an increasing demand for food-safe inks as the food packaging market rapidly expands. Electron beam curing uses food safe inks that have no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and is a more sustainable alternative to other traditional printing and curing processes. 

 

Flexible Market Growth

As the market for flexible packaging grows, so does the list of vendors and product lines making their product available. The market has seen increased interest from printers and converters, due to the popularity of flexible packages in supermarkets and rise of digital printing that makes them easy to customize. According to a Markets and Markets report, we can expect this growth to continue into the 2020s. The report projects the flexible packaging market to be worth $125 billion by 2021, up from $98 billion in 2016.

With this growth comes an increased demand for food-safe packaging created with sustainable technology - such as using VOC-free inks and machines that are more energy efficient. The demand for flexible packaging that is entirely safe for food is particularly strong in Western markets, namely Europe and North America, where solvent-based flexo materials used in printing are prominent.

 

Toyo Ink Announcement

The Toyo Ink announcement of their EB curable Elex-one ink line comes a month after Siegwerk announced their latest EB offset inks. Both ink lines provide cutting edge technology and are well suited for food-safe flexible packaging applications.

The Elex-one series will only use EB irradiation to cure and will not require a volatile component. The line was formulated by Toyo engineers to maintain high print quality while also having the attributes for a food-safe application. Right now, the new inks are in testing throughout Europe. After they are approved for use, they will be released for commercial use in Europe and subsequent markets.

 

About Toyo Ink

Toyo Ink Co., which was founded in 2011, is based out of Tokyo, Japan. They currently have approximately 860 employees and specialize in the manufacturing of printing inks for the information and packaging markets. Their inks and coatings come in colors of all kinds, can be utilized to preserve the freshness of food, and are made with a high regard for safety.

One of the main goals of Toyo Ink is to create a product that produces a high-resolution end product that covers a wide color gamut. They are able to achieve this through continued testing, innovation, and building off of their technology and knowledge from their firm establishment.

 

Benefits of EB Flexo

EB flexo has many different benefits that make it stand out as an extremely viable option. EB inks do not require interstation dryers, have less dot gain, and provide gravure quality without the high cost that is normally associated with gravures. The less dot gain helps expand the color gamut, allowing for more vibrant images from 170+ line screens. The image remains sharp through tonal gradations that are down to 3% and FM screening.

EB flexo is also the top choice when considering food packaging applications and an eco-conscious mindset. EB flexo has no volatile organic compounds and meets the FDA food safety standards in packaging. It has very low odor and extractables while maintaining a high rub and chemical resistance.  The proven quality and reduced use of resources makes electron beam the go-to choice for many food packaging manufacturers.

 

It's an exciting time to be in the food packaging industry. More ink options and a high level of technology make it so that the quality and appearance of end products are constantly improving. If you would like to learn more about electron beam processing, the inks used in EB, or how this can be implemented at your location, please request an assessment by clicking the button below.

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