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Enhance the Food Safety Process with Functional Inks

Continuous inkjet (CIJ) is the technology of choice for food packaging coding as the solvent based inks adhere to a variety of materials like cartons, plastics, films, foils, metal and glass. CIJ is ideal for food packaging in that it offers high speed, non-contact small character printing and enables food processors to incorporate inkjet codes into their functional safety and traceability processes.

Companies that produce food products are very aware of the financial and public health risks of a recall and therefore understand the necessity of being able to track products through the supply chain. For added food safety security, continuous inkjet printers can utilize specialty functional inks:

Thermochromic inks are developed for the canning industry and show a color change effect when processed through a retort or autoclave process. In addition to visual confirmation of successful canning it is a robust ink that penetrates thin coatings of oil and grease and resists removal by oils, waxes, fats and varnishes.

For secure coding of high-end products subject to counterfeiting or for products and packaging that require discrete codes for internal track and trace, identifying origin or verifying authenticity, there are inks that are nearly invisible to the naked eye but fluoresce under UV light. These fast drying, solvent based inks are water resistant once dry.

Traceability of food product is key to a company’s ability to react to a recall. In addition to providing coding technology that allows companies to trace product, Diagraph and Linx offer the following specialty functional coding inks that enhance food safety:

Linx Thermochromic 1281 or 1291

  • Fast dry MEK-based (1-2 second dry time)
  • Permanent color change - either black to blue or purple to pink - when exposed to typical sterilization conditions
  • Resists removal with alkali after sterilization



Thermochromic 1281 or 1291


 Linx Clear Security Ink 3160
  • Non-MEK acetone/ethanol (1-3 second dry time)
  • Fluoresces red
  • Unique dye makes replication difficult
 Linx Clear Security Ink
 Linx Clear UV Readable Ink 1121
  • Fast dry MEK-based (1-2 second dry time)
  • Fluoresces blue
  • Can be removed with alkali solution
 Sanitized Bottles

Our choice for fully functional, easy to use inkjet coders are the Linx 8900 Series line of printers. The Linx 8900 Series inkjet printers provide high quality batch, date, lot and expiration codes which are critical components for supply chain traceability. The Linx models are also durable workhorses in wash down environments and are easy-to-use featuring a robust, sealed printhead, one-touch fluid refills, a highly visible touch screen user interface and point-of-print viscosity control. The Linx 8900 Series line of printers support both thermochromic and UV fluorescent ink applications.

Continuous inkjet is just one option for adding essential date codes, lot codes and batch codes to your food and beverage products. Want to learn more about how your choice of coding solution contributes to food safety and traceability? Download our full whitepaper.

  Coding For Safety & Traceability  


Coding for Safety & Traceability in the Food Supply Chain: A Comparison of Continuous Inkjet & Laser Coding



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