Smurfit Kappa’s new MB12 carton finds sustainable solution to mineral oil migration


24 May 2018 --- Paper-based packaging giants, Smurfit Kappa, has launched a pioneering new carton designed to prevent the migration of mineral oil into packaged food. Now available to customers for primary packaging, the MB12 technology used to produce the carton guarantees the highest levels of food safety.

“The Smurfit Kappa MB12 carton has a unique absorber functionality which seamlessly and continuously prevents the migration of mineral oil to the contents,” Lars Henriksson, VP Product Development, Smurfit Kappa Paper Division, tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “This innovative absorber method blocks potential migration across the whole surface area of the packaging including at the ‘cut edges’, which makes it more robust than barrier solutions. This functionality is retained throughout all stages of the supply chain.”

The potential health threats associated with mineral oil migration remain unclear. Henriksson explains that the main objective of the technology is to “give customers peace of mind” while research into mineral oil migration advances.

“In March 2011, the British Food Standards Agency looked into mineral oil migration and confirmed that it was not aware of any firm evidence to suggest there are food safety risks in recycled food packaging. This position was supported by an FSA study in December 2011,” says Henriksson. “Their own risk assessment did not identify any specific food safety concerns or a need for consumers to change their eating habits with respect to food that has been packaged in virgin fiber or recycled board.”

“Furthermore, the European Food Safety Agency stressed in 2012, in their review of available information and data on the issue that, while the migration and presence of certain minerals oils in food would potentially be cause for concern, there are considerable uncertainties linked to assessing any potential risks,” he adds.

An independent year-long study by the Technical University of Dresden found that Smurfit Kappa’s MB12 was the most effective product on the market for protecting packaged food against potential contamination.

“Smurfit Kappa’s MB12 packaging has been certified by EuroFins and ISEGA and it can be delivered as FSC ‘chain of custody’ certified. MB12 packaging offers the industry’s highest level of protection. Smurfit Kappa has invested significant R&D into the creation of this innovative and effective packaging solution,” says Henriksson.

In addition to guaranteeing industry high levels of food safety, the carton also boasts qualities regarding sustainability and cost-effectiveness at a time when food and beverage companies are responding to increasing consumer demand for environmentally responsible product packaging.

“MB12 packaging retains the full sustainability credentials of Smurfit Kappa’s packaging and is fully renewable, recyclable and biodegradable,” Henriksson explains. “MB12 can be efficiently implemented at the customer’s process and supply chain. It has been used by customers to reduce costs by preventing any compromise of the products through contamination or damage.”

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Smurfit's paper making facility, Bordeaux

In recent months, Smurfit Kappa has been subject to a proposed takeover by US-based International Paper. Smurfit Kappa welcomed the Irish Takeover Panel’s June deadline for a proposed International Paper takeover bid, stating that it would provide certainty to the company and its stakeholders. The Board had previously unanimously rejected International Paper’s proposals on the basis that they are significantly below the Board’s assessment of the Group’s true intrinsic worth and prospects and remain significantly below the valuations set by recent industry transactions. International Paper has confirmed that it will not proceed with a further offer unless it is recommended by the Smurfit Kappa Board.

By Joshua Poole

This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirst's sister website, PackagingInsights.

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