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Are Soy Based Inks in Packaging an Allergen Risk?

soy ink allergen packaging

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#1 zac2944

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:30 PM

is there any definitive information on the risks of soy based inks? 

 

I'm a food packaging manufacturer, and I'm updating my HACCP plan in preparation for my first SQF audit.  My ink is not soy based, but my supplier does manufacture soy based ink and I'm trying to better understand the risks of cross contamination. 

 

I know soy is a major allergen, but haven't seen any reliable info stating that soy ink is a risk.  I did however find some info stating that is not a risk, but don't want to base my position on a few random sources I found on the web.

 

In this article it states:

"For those of you with soy allergies who are concerned about handling soy-based inks, you should be glad to know that the manufacturing process strips the soy proteins from the final product. This means that soybean inks are entirely safe and have shown no risk of causing allergic reactions or anaphylaxis."

but no links to a reliable source.

 

I did find the attached paper posted here on University of Nebraska–Lincoln site:

EXPERT OPINION STATEMENT, FOOD ALLERGY RESEARCH & RESOURCE PROGRAM, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

Soy Ink October 24, 2013, Prepared by: Steve L. Taylor, Ph.D., Co-Director and, Joe L. Baumert, Ph.D., Co-Director

In our expert opinion, soy ink is not hazardous to soy-allergic consumers. The allergens in soybeans have been identified as naturally occurring proteins present in soybeans. However, soy ink is made from highly refined soybean oil that is obtained from soybeans by hot solvent extraction, bleaching, and deodorizing (so-called RBD or refined, bleached and deodorized soybean oil). Highly refined soybean oil contains negligible levels of residual protein far below any level that can elicit allergic reactions in sensitive individuals in our expert opinion.

 

Would this paper quality as a reliable source?  Can I use this to justify low/no allergen risk? 


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#2 Mr. Incognito

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 02:35 PM

I don't know the answer to this... but:

 

Have you considered doing testing on the packaging ink yourself by testing the face of the bag to see if it returns a positive result?

 

Have you talked to your supplier on any testing they have done on the ink to prove it does not provide a cross contamination risk and migration of the ink through the packaging?

 

Just some ideas on how you can prove/disprove the claim on your own.


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#3 zac2944

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 04:37 PM

Thanks for the ideas.  I'm pretty new to Food Safety and certainly to allergen management/control.  I've got a meeting with my ink supplier later this week and will discuss testing, but rather than testing I would like to base my justification on the FARRP paper attached above. 

 

I plan to justify like this:

  1. My ink is not soy based per specification.
  2. I've got an allergen statement from my supplier stating that my ink is free of allergens.
  3. Soy based ink and therefore cross contamination are not an issue based on the Statement from FARRP above.
  4. All of the printing on my material (flexible packaging) is covered with a coating or layer of plastic

I want to show that I've considered the hazard and determined that there isn't one there.  Just wondering if this justification will do the job.  Sure testing would add some data to support claims, but I feet that would be out of line considering the other controls in place.  Soy based ink is used in over 90% of all new papers, in magazines, books, food packaging, etc. 


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#4 CMHeywood

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:57 PM

Allergenic reactions happed when a person is exposed to a protein.  I believe soy based inks use soybean oil.  The oil would have to be extremely well refined to guarantee there would be no soy protein.  I assume soy ink suppliers will not make that guarantee, so you wouldn't be able to make the guarantee of there being no soy allergens.


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#5 SQFconsultant

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:22 PM

Get your own independent test done.


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#6 Charles.C

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:34 AM

is there any definitive information on the risks of soy based inks? 

 

I'm a food packaging manufacturer, and I'm updating my HACCP plan in preparation for my first SQF audit.  My ink is not soy based, but my supplier does manufacture soy based ink and I'm trying to better understand the risks of cross contamination. 

 

I know soy is a major allergen, but haven't seen any reliable info stating that soy ink is a risk.  I did however find some info stating that is not a risk, but don't want to base my position on a few random sources I found on the web.

 

In this article it states:

"For those of you with soy allergies who are concerned about handling soy-based inks, you should be glad to know that the manufacturing process strips the soy proteins from the final product. This means that soybean inks are entirely safe and have shown no risk of causing allergic reactions or anaphylaxis."

but no links to a reliable source.

 

I did find the attached paper posted here on University of Nebraska–Lincoln site:

EXPERT OPINION STATEMENT, FOOD ALLERGY RESEARCH & RESOURCE PROGRAM, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

Soy Ink October 24, 2013, Prepared by: Steve L. Taylor, Ph.D., Co-Director and, Joe L. Baumert, Ph.D., Co-Director

In our expert opinion, soy ink is not hazardous to soy-allergic consumers. The allergens in soybeans have been identified as naturally occurring proteins present in soybeans. However, soy ink is made from highly refined soybean oil that is obtained from soybeans by hot solvent extraction, bleaching, and deodorizing (so-called RBD or refined, bleached and deodorized soybean oil). Highly refined soybean oil contains negligible levels of residual protein far below any level that can elicit allergic reactions in sensitive individuals in our expert opinion.

 

Would this paper quality as a reliable source?  Can I use this to justify low/no allergen risk? 

Dear zac,

 

Details of the specific application (direct food contact labels?) are omitted so the discussion is partially hypothetical.

 

You have obviously already done some substantial investigation into the topic under discussion.

 

I think previous threads on printing inks on this forum concluded that for USA there are no existing official standards /  lists of approved chemicals.?

 

Yr last queries essentially relate to the minimum requirements for a satisfactory validation for SQF (?).

 

From memory SQF do offer guidance on this although some aspects are more or less FS axiomatic,  for example, for the given  application (eg product, direct contact ?) -  Legislatory requirements (typically No.1 priority), official Guidelines ( likely No.2), industry standards, own data, etc, etc

 

A reputable / recent / (presumably) peer-reviewed reference clearly carries weight but will logically be further judged according to SQF's own  knowledge base / experts. For example, do reputable rebuttals also exist ?

 

In many cases you are likely to find that you know the background better than the auditor except that the latter has maybe more extensive resources to draw on if necessary.

 

IMEX, auditors initially follow their Standard if explicit or a prioritisation- type tree as per above if not.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C






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