Protective packaging materials specialist Walki has developed an extrusion coating known as mineral oil safe technology (MOST) to prevent mineral oil migration into foods.

The Walki Pack MOST is a polymer-laminate packaging product that acts a barrier to mineral-oil contamination, besides keeping away grease and water.

This glueable, sealable and recyclable packaging material acts as a barrier to Benzophenone, Bisphenol A, DIPN and softeners, which could be found in recycled fibres.

Cross-contamination from other transport packaging can also be prevented using this material, which has been approved for direct food contact.

"This product will enable the food-packing industry to solve the growing issue of contaminated food."

Walki Barrier Board products technical service and development manager Stefan Erdmann said: "This product will enable the food-packing industry to solve the growing issue of contaminated food.

"Food companies and brand owners who adopt mineral oil safe packaging materials are demonstrating their commitment to delivering safer food products to the marketplace."

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The mineral oils such as mineral oil saturated hydrocarbon (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbon (MOAH) present in packaged foods are considered to be unsafe for human consumption.

Generally used in industrial inks, MOSH and MOAH are also sometimes found in printing dyes for packaging materials.

Walki business development vice-president Mirka Nevala said: "Mineral oil contains MOAH, which is especially harmful to humans because our systems can’t break it down. It accumulates inside our bodies when we eat food that contains MOAH."

A study published by Dr Koni Grob et al. and the Swiss Official Food Control Authority found that dry food has a significant risk of mineral oil contamination originating from recycled fibre-based packaging materials.

Image: There is a significant risk of mineral oil migration from recycled fibre-based packaging materials. Photo: courtesy of Walki Group.