Schur Flexibles has developed an antibacterial varnish that can be applied to a range of its films, including those used for food packaging applications, to help to enhance point of sale hygiene.

At the point of sale, packets are often touched, picked up, and put back, Schur Flexibles explains. The antibacterial coating is aimed at preventing the transfer of bacteria and helping to ease consumer concerns about hygiene, which have become particularly prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Schur Flexibles, the antibacterial coating can be used for a range of packaging types, such as topfilms and flowpacks. The company claims that the Antibacterial Activity Analysis Result suggests that the coating reduces the bacteria present on packaging by 95%.

The antibacterial varnish has been tested and reportedly confirmed safe for food packaging, including meat, dairy, and fish, as well as for cosmetic packaging and other applications. For example, Duda, a producer of meats and sausages, has been using the coating in Poland to reassure consumers during the pandemic.

In addition, Schur Flexibles says that manufacturers do not need to make changes to their production line to incorporate the varnish. Films coated with the varnish apparently run as smoothly as uncoated films on all machines and integrate well into the printing process, helping to ensure that the print quality remains the same.

Joanna Herbst, commercial product manager conversion at Schur Flexibles, comments: “Food and consumer safety begins with intelligent packaging solutions. We are the first packaging manufacturer to offer this type of coating to our customers.

“With this solution, we are supporting manufacturers and retailers in their efforts to optimise hygiene and provide enhanced food safety.”

Last month, researchers from Australia and Japan unveiled an antibacterial nanotexture for rigid plastic packaging, which is based on the nanopillar wing structures of dragonflies and cicadas that are able to kill bacteria by pulling, stretching, or slicing them apart.