In a conversation with Vikas Kulkarni, Managing Director, Bostik India Food Marketing and Technology Magazine, India asked him questions regarding his products and his learnings from Covid 19 disruption. He talks about excellent food grade products and their applications.

1. What is Bostik Food Touch H18? Could you elaborate for our readers?

Bostik Food Touch H18 is a series of hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives suitable for  direct food contact labels. It offers a wide application temperature range and can be  applied to many types of surfaces, such as velum, cast gloss, thermal paper or other designs for green public procurement (GPP) labels. 

 As food labels convey important consumer information, the adhesive used must help ensure that they can properly and safely stick on the products. This means that they must offer good resistance to fruit essence and leave no residue when removed from the fruit or vegetable – a basic but key consumer requirement that needs to be met.

 Food Touch H18 has well-balanced initial tack, peel and shear performance and performs well in low to semi-freeze temperature. Like all Bostik label adhesives, it possesses excellent die-cut, matrix stripping abilities and is formulated for minimal to no haloing and curling.

2. What are the important aspects to be considered, for additives in Food Contact Materials?

Each country has its own sets of legislation and requirements for food safety. Food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers should comply with all applicable laws, regulations and directives, by continuously reviewing the composite formulations to determine compliance, and ensuring that each authorisation should comprise of three parts: the identity of the substance, specifications including purity or physical properties, and limitations on the conditions of use.

 As a food contact materials manufacturer, Bostik works closely with industry partners and customers to exchange information on new updates on food safety requirements and partner with them to develop food labels that are safe to stick on the food we consume. 

3. How different is this from the existing products in the market?

Fruit and vegetable adhesives are classified as either direct or indirect food additives and must meet specific food-grade standards and requirements. Currently, most food labels adhesives in the market can only fulfil nation-specific regulations.

 Bostik Food Touch H18 fills the gap in the industry as it is compliant with copious local standards for food safety, including: 

  • (EU) 10/2011, the regulation for plastic food contact materials mentioned in the European Framework Regulation (EU) 1935/2004. It ensures that manufacturers meet the safety requirements for plastic materials and articles for direct food.
  • FDA 175.125, the Code of Federal Regulations for indirect food additives in the United States
  • GB9685-2016, the Standard for the Uses of Additives in Food Contact Materials and Articles in China.

 The bottom line is that using food label adhesives that comply with multi-national food safety standards, exporting produce to most countries in the world can be easily achievable.

4. Is Bostik Food Touch H18 the only product that you have for application in food industry?

The food industry is one of our core markets and as a pioneer in food packaging adhesives, we have a wide portfolio of customised solutions that meet even the most demanding applications.

 With more consumers consciously living a more sustainable lifestyle, producing food packaging adhesive that acts as a sustainability enabler is our utmost priority. We have two eco-friendly adhesives solutions for the food packaging industry – M-Resin and HERBERTS™ LF794/H180.

 Our M-Resins series are used in the food industry to produce resealable films and lids for packages, specifically for cheese, processed meat food packaging, fresh produce, fresh-cuts trays, bowls and baked goods. They are 100% solid, pressure-sensitive adhesives packaged in a protected, pelletised form that can be extruded on most standard blow and cast extrusion lines. Packages using our M-Resins do not require secondary packaging such as zippers, slider and reclosures. 

They are also: 

  • Eco-friendly – The extrudable, peelable and resealable adhesives for flexible packaging help keep food fresh for an extended period and have minimal effect on taste and odour
  • Compatible with blown or cast extrusion resins
  • Resealable – Increase consumer satisfaction as packages are easier to keep as compared to click-top lidding
  • Efficient– Provide operational efficiency with their higher green strength, and enable the ability to run at faster packaging speeds, translating to lower cost-in-use and a more straightforward manufacturing process

 On the other hand, HERBERTS™ LF794/H180 is a polyurethane solvent-free retort adhesive that improves performance while being environmentally friendly. This high-performance flexible lamination adhesive is made for flexible packaging in food sterilisation, stand-up pouches with foil and spouts for boiling lidding. It is suitable for up to four layers of aluminium lamination retort with features like: 

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Good heat peel resistance
  • Provides quality adhesion without impacting the packaged material
  • Stable bonding strength
  • Chemical resistance for packaging ingredients with higher acidic content

5. Since its launch, considering the fact that consumer awareness around food safety has risen, how has been the response from the market?

Since the Food Touch H18 was launched in 2020, we’ve seen high demand mainly due to an increased awareness of food safety brought upon by the pandemic.

In India, the food & beverage (F&B) industry is witnessing a radical transformation. The pandemic, coupled with India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare proposal to strengthen food contact regulations, provided an opportunity for industry players to bolster India’s food safety systems. More food manufacturers in the country have undertaken extensive preventive measures to ensure that the safety of their products observes food safety requirements locally and internationally. With growth projections of fruit exports to the West, this need will only grow. Based on the initial interest from label manufacturers, Food Touch H18 appears to provide a clear solution for a number of manufacturers, and we see this trend growing in the coming years.

6. Was Covid the one reason for this product?

The Food Touch H18 was formulated even before the outbreak. That being said, the demand for the product can be attributed to consumers’ changing view on food safety and sustainability.