US – NanoPack Inc, a developer of proprietary barrier coatings for films used in processed food packaging, has introduced a new coating -Bairicade XT - that has the ability for coating and printing in-line on high-speed flexographic and rotogravure printing processes, and reduced costs.
Bairicade XT coating, with global patents pending, provides extended shelf-life for products such as snacks, nuts, seeds, seasonings, candy, coffee and tea packages.
NanoPack’s advances in chemistry allow Bairicade XT to provide a clear, ultra-thin oxygen barrier coating product using 50% less water than previous coatings. With less drying requirement, shorter ovens are sufficient and press speeds can be greatly increased. This advance has opened up the opportunity for high-speed, high-quality central impression flexographic presses to economically utilize this barrier technology.
The Bairicade XT coating supports sustainability programs with source reduction, elimination of highly chlorinated alternative coatings and will compost with current bio-film products. The new coating has been approved for indirect food contact by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and petitions for Health Canada approval have been filed.
“With our previous barrier products, the large amount of water put down in the coating process limited NanoPack’s applications to mostly rotogravure presses, which can have long ovens between cylinders,” explains Howard Kravitz, NanoPack’s president and CEO. “We have improved the coating’s efficiency by increasing the total percent solids in Bairicade XT, while reducing the dry weight needed to achieve the same barrier. This has allowed us to go thinner, and to put down about half of the total amount wet.”
Fred Levitt, NanoPack’s senior vice president of sales & marketing, adds, “We believe converters will welcome the news that their flexo presses can now run Bairicade XT. In addition to the improved line speeds and lower total costs, this provides a path toward achieving improved sustainability in the packaging - - clearly a goal of our industry worldwide.”
The new offering replaces undesirable, highly chlorinated coatings such as polyvinylidene chloride (Saran), and thicker, more expensive materials such as EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer). Bairicade XT also allows end-users and converters to design their own barrier targets by varying the coating thickness.
The Bairicade XT coating, only a small fraction of a micron thick, is created by evenly dispersing clay platelets in a resin which then stack up like a tightly constructed brick wall. Oxygen, a major enemy in food packaging, is blocked as a result, thus greatly extending shelf life for packaged foods. The new coating also provides a barrier to most organic volatiles, providing excellent protection for flavor and aroma, as well as shielding the inks and adhesives in those laminations.
“The ability to reach out to converters with flexographic as well as rotogravure capabilities substantially opens the field for uses of Bairicade XT,” Kravitz adds.