HOW VARNISHES CAN PROTECT US AGAINST VIRUSES AND BACTERIA
A product development by German company epple Druckfarben AG demonstrates how varnishes on packaging can protect against viruses and bacteria. Just as the first wave of corona hit Europe, and after 18 months of research work, the developers were ready to launch their special Microbe Protect varnish for pharmaceutical and food packaging as well as for printed products.
SILVER-NANOPARTICLES ON PACKAGING
So how does the new varnish counter viruses and bacteria? It contains an additive that reduces bacteria and viruses on surfaces thanks to a special active ingredient complex that contains nanosilver. In test procedures, the gloss varnish showed a reduction in bacteria types such as E.coli (Escherichia coli) and staphylococci (Staphylococcus aureus) of up to 99.99 percent, depending on the concentration of the active ingredient. The effectiveness is long-lasting and permanent (24/7) and the varnish on the packaging is not hazardous for humans. Once the coating has dried, the silver-nanoparticles are not released from the varnish nor can they be rubbed off. The active ingredient is also used for protection against viruses in medical masks.
PHOTODYNAMIC PRINCIPLES AGAINST GERMS
A special varnish that uses the principle of photodynamics is also said to be effective against germs on the surfaces of packaging. Visible light activates photocatalysators and transfers energy to the surrounding oxygen, resulting in the formation of singlet oxygen; this in turn effectively kills germs through oxidation of the germ shell. This effect mechanism in the varnish requires light; in the dark, the photodynamic effect is temporarily suspended. However, as soon as light hits the varnish, the mechanism is re-activated. The varnish is said to be effective for up to three years, and packaging coated with this special varnish can be recycled.
In times of corona, food shelves in supermarkets are often empty. Photo: Kate Trifo, Pexels