In this dynamic environment, quality expectations continue to rise along with stringent standards in terms of food safety.
To help flexible packaging converters prepare to meet such challenges, Henkel – a world-leading manufacturer of packaging adhesives – recently staged one of its international series of Liofol Academy roadshows in Cape Town (following similar events held earlier in the year in Russia and Eastern Europe), at which delegates were given focused information on the economic, ecological and technological challenges facing their industry.
In presentations with high practical relevance, experts from the company spotlighted current packaging trends, explained the legal framework, and reported on latest product solutions.
Among them Dr Georg Kinzelmann, Henkel’s corporate technical director and head of R&D for polyurethanes, covered laminating adhesives and regulatory compliance; Eddy Taal, regional sales manager for flexible packaging (Middle East and Africa), discussed Liofol’s cold seal technology; and Hans Ole Pedersen, Henkel’s manager for flexible packaging in Scandinavia, outlined interactions between inks and adhesives.
The programme was rounded out by guest speakers – Muhammad Ali Mirza of Taghleef Industries talked about the flexible packaging market and OPP films, and Philemon Sereme, Nestlé South Africa’s packaging manager, highlighted his company’s expectations for flexible packaging materials.
‘Changing markets are creating numerous challenges for packaging manufacturers,’ remarks Mark Behrens, Henkel South Africa’s market segment manager for Liofol.
‘Adhesives based on latest technologies have become a decisive success factor in this respect. Brand owners are looking for innovative and sustainable solutions in order to enter new markets early and keep a step ahead of the competition,’ he adds.
Safety through innovation
Food safety has been an important topic at this year’s series of roadshows. Existing legislation in the EU and the US stipulates that only food that’s safe for human health may be marketed, and this includes packaging where food contamination through hazardous substances within packaging materials – films and foils, printing inks, or adhesives – must be reliably excluded.
International food manufacturers pass on these safety requirements to their packaging suppliers and regularly test packs for migration threats.
However, food safety is rapidly becoming a big issue with legislators outside these classic industrial nations, particularly in regions where rising standards of living are generating increased use of flexible packaging, of which South Africa is a prime example. So it’s especially important to choose the right raw materials when manufacturing these products. In this context, new high-performance adhesives ensure a maximum level of product safety.