Used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s, various questions have been raised about BPA’s suitability for the manufacture of some consumer products – including the coatings used inside beverage cans.
Although major regulatory agencies responsible for food safety (for example, the US Food & Drug Administration, Health Canada’s Food Directorate and the European Food Safety Authority) continue to say that BPA is safe, a global movement is underway to shift to what’s known as BPANI (BPA non-intent) coatings for applications that involve direct contact with food.
BPANI might sound complicated, but simply refers to the fact that the chemical is not intentionally added to the coatings. This transition to a new approach initially posed some challenges for the manufacturers of packaging coatings, but AkzoNobel has started to firmly establish itself as an innovative key player in developing and supplying BPANI coatings.
“We have developed a new generation of BPANI coatings which goes beyond any existing global regulatory requirements for BPA and addresses many areas of concern for the manufacturers,” explains Jaideep Mahajan, AkzoNobel’s Segment Manager for Beer and Beverage Coatings. “As well as delivering flavour and pack performance, the new products also maintain can-making productivity and efficiency, therefore helping customers to control costs.”
The company’s research into the new generation coatings resulted in the adoption of an acrylic technology platform. “We removed the epoxy backbone and instead built up the graft co-polymer that went with it,” continues Florangel Perez, AkzoNobel’s Regional Development and Solution Lab Manager.
AkzoNobel’s commitment to providing customers with more sustainable and innovative solutions highlights the company’s important role in providing quality coatings to the food and beverage industry.
Added Peres: “By using sound chemistry and making the right choices now, we can ensure that the metal can – an infinitely recyclable and sustainable package – continues to be a package of choice in the future."
*BPA extractions from coated cans are well below limits set by regulatory authorities and are safe.