2020’s COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to a new kind of epidemic in North America and around the world. Dubbed the “loneliness epidemic,” a growing number of people felt lonely in 2020 due to the implementation of stay-at-home measures and restrictions.
People started to look for other sources of companionship as a result, leading to skyrocketing demand for rescue animal adoptions. Animal welfare organizations across the country saw adoption rates shoot from 58% at the beginning of March 2020 to 85% by the end of the month. Time declared rescue animals as 2020’s Pet of The Year.
It makes sense, then, that there’s a growing demand from pet parents for high-quality pet food options for their furry friends. While the nutritional value and quality of the food is naturally of the utmost importance, customers are also increasingly concerned that their pet’s food packaging is safe and sustainable as well.
That’s an area where BASF’s JONCRYL HPB 1702 can help.
A balanced and nutritious diet is critical for an animal’s health. In America, the USDA regulates all commercial pet food, stating “all animal foods must be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.”
Dry pet food, the most common food choice among pet owners, is composed of protein sources such as meat and fish, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and preservatives.
“There's a lot of nutritional assessments and regulations around ensuring that pet food is safe and well-labeled for ingredients and gives a well-balanced diet,” says Kimberly Wilson, Market Segment Manager for Dispersions & Resins North America. “As a part of those well-balanced diets, you need to have some composition of oils and fats.”
While these oils and fats provide necessary nutrients, including linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, they can also damage the packaging that stores the food.
“Pet food packaging needs a barrier coating, because otherwise anytime the package comes in contact with either a fat or an oil, that grease is going to penetrate through the paper packaging,” says Wilson.
Grease penetration causes the multiwall bag to lose some of its structural integrity, puts it at risk of breaking when handled, and creates unsightly stains and splotches on the packaging to boot. An effective grease barrier prevents these problems and contributes to a higher-quality package.
It’s in the bag
Pet food packaging has two major requirements: it needs to be strong enough to withstand handling and resist oils, and it must be food safe.
Dry pet food bags require special construction. The inner layer of the multiwall bag must protect the food contents within, and the outer layer needs to be aesthetically pleasing with no grease stains permeating through from the inner layer.
Consumers are also willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. In one survey, about 75% of respondents “feel more favorably toward a brand with sustainable packaging.”
As a water-based emulsion, JONCRYL HPB 1702 is capable of sustainably delivering the grease-resistant properties and food safety certifications demanded by the pet food market. While the most common use for this emulsion is takeout and other fast-food applications, its properties make it ideal for use in pet food bags as well. Applied via flexographic, gravure or rod, JONCRLY HPB 1702 provides excellent grease resistance at room temperature and at elevated temperatures of up to 60 °C, even after folding and creasing.
“Pet owners who love their pets want to make sure the food they're giving them is not only healthy and good for them, but that the packaging is safe for them,” says Wilson. “JONCRYL HPB 1702 can do that. If it has food compliance for us humans, then you know it’s safe in the packaging for our pets as well.”
For more information on JONCRYL HPB 1702 and its applications, Click Here.