A new varnish for food and beverage packaging materials, SafetoShare, offers brands and packagers a biocide-free method for combatting pathogens, thus boosting food safety and protecting consumers from foodborne illnesses.
Australia-based Twelve8 Technology (PaktoEarth) developed SafetoShare, which is a clear varnish that can be printed on paper, polypropylene, and polyethylene. Nanotechnology enables the varnish to fill in microscopic irregularities in the substrate’s surface.
After varnishing, packaging materials are essentially germ-free. Viruses and bacteria cannot grow on the slippery hydration layer that the varnish creates; this layer repels and prevents absorption of bacteria and viruses for at least 12 months. The hydration layer does not affect print quality.
The SafetoShare technology does not use heavy metals, or potentially leachable biocides such as triclosan and nanosilver, to eliminate microbes.
Testing has proven that SafetoShare is safe for food contact. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have given the varnish their approval.
Unlike conventional antimicrobial agents, the varnish stops bacteria from growing on treated material rather than killing them outright. Consequently, the technology does not encourage the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.