Most packaged foods utilise pressure sensitive label technology to communicate the contents to consumers, including nutritional values and other marketing content.
Labelling technology and compliance are important in the packaging industry to ensure the safety of packaged goods.
Pressure sensitive labels are manufactured in multilayers to stop the migration of hazardous chemicals to packaged contents and minimise contact with food, which can happen directly or indirectly.
The multilayer structure of pressure sensitive labels usually consists of facestocks, adhesives and liners. Below is a more comprehensive guide which includes the total five layers (the guide was published in an earlier issue of the Food Review publication).
- The Liner
The liner is often removed before application to the packaging. Therefore only the adhesive layer remains in contact with the packaged goods. The liner is made of plastic film or paper and is the base for the four remaining layers.
- The Release Coat
The release coat is a specifically-formulated coating applied to the liner surface. It is applied to counteract the stickiness of the next layer – the adhesive. Also, it allows the adhesive and the facestock to peel away easier from the liner.
- The Adhesive
The adhesive acts as a barrier between the product itself and the chemicals from the paper or film facestock. It is a glue that holds the facestock to the product.
- The Facestock
The facestock represents the label required by the client to showcase the requested brand or image on the chosen materials. These materials range from plastic films to foils, laminates and paper.
- The Top Coat
The top coat is applied to the facestock to protect the label from abrasions. It is also the finishing touch to the labelling and provides the final appealing look that goes to market.
Pressure sensitive labels are vital in addressing industry compliance and regulations regarding the safety of packaged goods. In this sense, various food safety and compliance assessments need to be carried out regularly on these labels.
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