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Food colouring meets bioplastics

The GRAFE-Group is an innovative partner to the plastics processing industry. A joint venture between SENSIENT Imaging Technologies GmbH and specialist masterbatch manufacturer GRAFe has managed to combine food colouring and bio-based plastics.

 

Environmental awareness and health protection have played an exemplary role within the GRAFE-Group for several years. The company markets masterbatches for colouring bioplastics under the brand name "Biocolen". Combining plastics derived from renewable raw materials with food colourings opens new ways of achieving closed loop recycling.

 

The silica encapsulated colourants (SEC) by Sensient Imaging Technologies provide a technical solution for encapsulating natural food colourings which greatly restricts migration in formulations. Silica was chose deliberately as this material is present in foods and is approved for food use.

 

The silicate matrix - the protective layer encapsulation the colourings - limits the oxidising effect of oxygen on the dye molecules and improve the colourings´resistance to solvents, water, pH and environmental influences and minimise migration of the dyes out of the matrix. A wide range of natural and synthetic food colorants is used.

 

The GRAFE-Group has tested the colourings in different polymers, which has resulted in several colour combinations such as brown, green, orange, yellow, red and violet.

 

"It is not the strongest who survive, but the ones most adaptable to change." (Charles Darwin)

 

(c) bioplastics 02/2012

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