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Diagraphs Blog covers the latest in coding and labeling products

You need to think about your ink
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We’ve all been there. Starving at the end of the day and rushing into a supermarket to pick up something to eat. Consumers may give a cursory glance at the best before date on the package to confirm that the item is safe to eat. They give no thought (and why should they) to how much research and development has gone into the ink displaying the information on the package. Not so for those responsible for coding and marking in the food industry.

Advice for food manufacturers

Manufacturers need to understand the complexities and range of ink available and what ink is best for their product, in terms of quality, reliability and budget.

Of course, it’s not just the date code that is printed on food products. Traceability or batch codes, required by law, are also included. Heavy fines can be imposed if the codes are not up to standard–and the monetary and reputational damage to the manufacturer could be extensive.

Linx inks quality & range

Every batch of Linx ink is quality tested to the highest specifications in accordance with ISO 9001. While no one standard ink is applicable for all uses, there are extensive choices available for the food industry. These include inks that are deliver high-quality results and are suitable for printing onto food products themselves, such as eggs and cheese, and specialist inks for printing on the full range of packaging materials from paper labels and cardboard to plastic packaging and bottles.

Inks for harsh environments

Linx inks are suitable for harsh environments, are fade resistant, quick drying and certified food grade. Adherence is key when coding onto polyethylene and other plastic containers, and Linx has an ink that does that with ease. In today’s hygiene conscious production environments, alcohol resistant ink can be used where products and production lines are cleaned down with alcohol-based cleaners.

Inks for retort processes

Linx’s black retort ink is formulated to resist moisture and transference. This ink is ideal for consistent coding through can and pouch retort applications where the contents are cooked in the packaging after they are coded. Another option for the retort processes in food production are thermochromic inks, which undergo a chemically resistant color change when subjected to wet heat conditions to provide a visual indicator that products have undergone the sterilization process.

food container with printed date

Black inks for food manufacturing

Linx’s black inks come with a range of options, from fast-drying and able to withstand temperatures up to 400°F, through to oil-penetrating inks which print effectively through light layers of oil onto plastics, metal, glass and waxy surfaces, or where the code will be exposed to oil later in the process. The inks can provide excellent adhesion on flexible food packaging containers even where a light layer of condensation may be present.

There is also a black alcohol-based ink with low odor and good adherence to a range of substrates including most plastics. This ink is ketone and chromium-free, so it meets USDA requirements for incidental contact with meat and poultry. And to ensure producers meet their environmental goals, Linx also provides an array of eco-friendly MEK-free inks.

Linx inks meet food industry requirements

Because Linx’s extensive range of specialist inks are all certified for CIJ printers, you can rest assured your printing will meet legislative requirements in the food industry. And with online or customer service ordering, you will always have the correct ink in stock for your changeover needs.

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