Manufacturers Should Prepare For EU Food Labeling Directive

In light of the European Union’s 1169/2011 directive, manufacturers producing food items for sale in the EU will be required to clearly indicate and highlight certain information within ingredients lists starting December 13, 2014.  This includes manufacturers located...

In light of the European Union’s 1169/2011 directive, manufacturers producing food items for sale in the EU will be required to clearly indicate and highlight certain information within ingredients lists starting December 13, 2014.  This includes manufacturers located within and outside of the EU. In order to improve transparency on the origin of unprocessed meat and provide greater clarity on nutritional value and allergens to consumers, the mandatory food information must be clearly highlighted on the package or label, attached thereto. To enable manufacturers to comply with the legislation, Videojet Technologies, a global leader in coding, marking, and printing solutions, has prepared its DataFlex® suite of Thermal Transfer Overprinter solutions for inline printing to allow manufacturers to easily modify the printing of nutritional information, with zero production downtime.

Andrew Robinson, EMEA Product Specialist, Videojet Technologies commented, “In today’s information-rich environment, consumers need, and expect, more visibility about the origin and content of their food, especially when you consider that food allergies are on the rise. According to the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, more than 17 million Europeans have a food allergy and hospital admissions for severe reactions in children have risen seven-fold over the past decade. As such, the European Directive will provide greater clarity to customers with regard to ingredients, nutritional value, and allergens by mandating changes to the information that must appear on labels.”

The changes required as part of the new legislation include highlighting ingredients by quantity, energy content, high caffeine content, and allergens. The directive doesn’t stipulate any specific method of emphasizing this information, however the preferred options include bold, underline, or italic print. TTO technology is the only in-line print solution sophisticated enough to apply high resolution, variable information to flexible packaging types. It can automatically print multiple font sizes and styles, quickly and simply highlight specific allergen information, and select colored ribbons to compliment brand design, reducing the need for pre-printed stock.

Said Robinson: “Manufacturers across the food supply chain need to get ready now for this change in regulations without adding unnecessary stress to their production lines. The Videojet DataFlex® TTO printers will enable manufacturers to comply with the directive while minimizing downtime associated with changeovers and costs associated with production teams, such as the need to create new information.”

Videojet’s Dataflex® TTO printers have the ability to print variable information including dates, lot codes, time, and even graphics. With digital capabilities, printers can execute subtle changes to existing print and allow for information to be updated automatically, removing the need to stop production lines when new codes are, inevitably, required.  For manufacturers currently utilizing Videojet’s variable printing technology, no retooling or recording of pre-printed packaging is required, eradicating the need for arduous and time-consuming recreation of labels, thus saving operational time and money.

Essential for complete compliance, new ingredients list can be easily created, modified, and downloaded to the Videojet TTO using CLARiSOFT™ message generation software, part of Videojet CLARiSUITE™ range of software, and printed onto the product at high resolution and adhesion. This improves the manufacturers’ ability to control the marking of their products, allowing them more flexibility, while preventing coding errors and helping to ensure print job consistency and security.

“This is just one of the ways we are making ourselves available to help our customers make the right choices for their business needs. We are confident that the Videojet range of TTO solutions - with their host of benefits such as long ribbon lengths, fast print speeds, error prevention features, and simple operator interface – is ideal to help customers prepare for the new EU legislation on food labeling,” said Robinson.

For more information about the exact print changes, visit our site.

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