12 Januar 2006

Biodegradable plasticiser developed as phthalate replacement

Danisco Wins Frost & Sullivan's Excellence in Research Award in the Food Packaging Industry for its Unique Plasticizer GRINDSTED® SOFT-N-SAFE

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis – Advances in Food Packaging Technology – selected Danisco A/S (Denmark) as the recipient of the 2005 Frost & Sullivan Award for Excellence in Research for the food packaging market.

This is in recognition of the company’s successful development of a novel vegetable oil-based plasticizer – GRINDSTED® SOFT-N-SAFE – that facilitates the production of soft and flexible polyvinyl chloride ( PVC) applicable for effective food and beverage packaging.

The annual award is given to companies for a research and development programme that has or is expected to bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change and competitive posture, Frost & Sullivan stated.

“Danisco is world renowned for its expertise in food ingredient development and has exhaustive intellectual property patents in the field, and Grinsted Soft-N-Safe represents yet another notable addition to its product portfolio,” stated Frost & Sullivan analyst Kasturi Nadkarny.

The processing industry is under regulatory and consumer pressure to ensure better safety of their food products and the packaging. Health concerns about packaging chemicals, such as phthalates*, have raised consumer awareness of about the risks posed by materials that may come into contact with the food they buy.

Recent scientific studies have linked the class of chemicals with hormonal disruptions in the body that could result in infertility.

Danish-based Danisco produces the plasticiser from hardened castor oil and acetic acid. It is colourless, odorless and completely biodegradable.

While plasticizers find several applications, the use of GRINDSTED® SOFT-N-SAFE has to be specialized due to cost factors. The product is targeted for use in the production of flexible polyvinyl PVC for consumer products such as toys, bottle cap liners, floorings, teething rings, tubes, cling films, conveyor belts, food packaging and medical devices.

GRINDSTED® SOFT-N-SAFE has been authorized for marketing within Europe and has also been included in Europe’s positive list for food contact materials, often referred to as the super directive.

In addition, it is considered safe to be used in food contact materials. US FDA approval is expected to come soon. After receiving approval in Japan, then it is likely to be launched in the competitive Japanese market.

Production will take place at Danisco’s plant in Grindsted, Denmark, and because of its desirable physico-chemical characteristics, it is expected to have a strong market impact, offering consumer product marketeers a unique brand protection.

*A study published by Environmental Health Perspectives last year claims that normal exposure to phthalates could harm the genital development of unborn baby boys. Other animal studies on the toxicity of phthalates have raised questions about its possible effects on human health and sparked calls for further studies on the chemicals.

Phthalates are a class of compounds used most commonly as a softener for packaging and products made with PVC. In the food industry phthalate compounds are most commonly used for plastic packaging materials. The most commonly used phthalate is DEHP.

Source: Yahoo News Jan. 05, 2006 and Foodproductiondaily Jan. 06, 2005.

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