The growth of the consumer wellness movement and demand for healthy foods has resulted in companies like Kraft and Nestlé eliminating the artificial ingredients in their products. Now, some brands are preparing for another consumer concern—packaging safety.
Early in the 2000s, a number of consumer advocate groups started to question the safety of bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration banned BPA in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups. Since then, a number of studies have demonstrated the plasticizer is safe. However, the public continues to believe otherwise.
Consumers are questioning not only if their food is safe, but if the packaging it is delivered in—the materials that directly touch the food—is safe as well. Additionally, food authorities around the world, including FDA, have raised the bar for safe packaging, including all new additives.
Addivant, a provider of antioxidants, UV stabilizers and polymer modifiers, has invested seven years researching, developing and testing its new WESTON 705 nonylphenol-free, liquid phosphite antioxidant additive for polyethylene films. It is currently being tested by several consumer packaging companies that are moving away from nonylphenol-based additives.
“We are very excited with the additive’s progress in global commercial production trials,” says Peter Smith, president of commercial operations for Addivant. “The market is responding to greater consumer demands for packaging materials that meet today’s FDA and global regulatory standards and support the trend of healthier foods.”
According to Smith, the company concentrated on three areas while developing this new technology. First, the additive had to be not only compliant with the safety requirements of governing bodies, it had to go beyond any global regulations.
Secondly, the company focused on sustainability. It eliminated the use of solvents in the production process. And, it created a liquid, not a powder-based, system to make the dosing more precise and improve overall product quality.
Finally, to increase the performance of the additive, Addivant engineered it to enable optimal resin processing, allowing higher extrusion output and reducing downtime to lower costs across the supply chain.
Additionally, the technology is designed to protect the polymer against degradation caused by heat and exposure to the atmosphere. This improves the optical performance of the plastic by preventing microdefects and color changes and reduces the generation of gels in the finished product.