In an article published on August 15, 2016 by news provider FoodManufacture.co.uk, journalist Paul Gander reports on the progress made in the development of can coatings free of bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7). The first wave of BPA non-intent (BPA-NI) alternatives – meaning BPA is not an intentionally added substance in the coating – is posing several challenges to coating suppliers and the food industry. Dominique Fort, marketing director at coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel, points out that BPA-based “epoxy resin has been around for some 40 years, and it not so easy to replace.” Not only the performance of BPA-containing coatings has been optimized over time, but BPA is also produced in high volumes and thus comes at low cost. Until they are mainstream, the first-generation BPA-NI solutions could come at a premium of up to 10% as compared to traditional coatings, some experts suggest. Because of the lower performance of BPA-NI coatings, shelf-life claims of products have to be reduced. In this manner, “customers are paying more while getting less,” Gander recaps. The first-generation BPA-NI coatings are mostly based on polyester or acrylic. The second-generation solutions under development include spray coatings based on polyethylene and polypropylene, Gander reports. Another challenge in finding appropriate solutions is that several key components of current BPA-NI coatings, such as formaldehyde and styrene, “are under heavy scrutiny in North America and Europe,” Gander writes. Mr. Fort of AkzoNobel comments: “Today it’s BPA, tomorrow it will be other substances.”
Gander names France’s ban of BPA in all food contact materials (FCMs) of 2015 (FPF reported) as one of the main drivers for manufacturers to move towards BPA-NI coatings. Also, the State of California, U.S., added BPA to the list of chemicals known to cause reproductive harm under Proposition 65 in May 2015 (FPF reported), which resulted in a warning label requirement for BPA-containing products (FPF reported). The European Commission (EC) has proposed a new lowered specific migration limit (SML) for BPA which shall also apply to varnishes and coatings used in FCMs (FPF reported). This measure could allow France to rescind its total national BPA ban, Gander notes.
Paul Gander (August 15, 2016). “Bisphenol A-free can coatings in limbo.” FoodManufacture.co.uk