Safety and Food-Grade Coatings for Paper Bowls

Exploring Top 4 Safety and Food-Grade Coatings for Paper Bowls

Paper bowls are a common choice for serving various dishes, and they are an ideal option for to-go food. However, to ensure they are safe for use with food, they often require special coatings. Let's delve into four common safety and food-grade coatings used for paper bowls.

What Is The Coating On Paper Bowls?

Paper coating (also known as paper lamination) is considered a thin layer applied to paper boards to create a barrier that makes the paper waterproof and grease-resistant. 

Besides paper bowls, paper coating is also used in paper cups and paper boxes. The most common surface finishes for lamination are glossy or matt.

Paper coating provides numerous advantages such as tear resistance, increased durability, water resistance, and improved glossy printing quality.

Paper Bowls Coating

4 Paper Coating Types for Paper Bowls 

4 safety and food-grade coatings for paper bowls include PE coating, Double PE coating, PLA coating, and water-based barrier coating.

These coatings can be used on a variety of paper materials such as kraft paper, cup stock paper, bamboo paper, and paper with aluminum foil. 

Single Side PE Coating On Paper

The most popular lamination solution for paper food packaging is PE film coating. 

PE film coating is the most common lamination solution for paper food packaging. PE stands for polyethylene, which is suitable for food contact and has high heat resistance. Therefore, this lamination can be used in hot content foodservice such as coffee and hot soup/stew,...

One of its cons is that can not withstand prolonged high-temperature heating in the microwave. It is also not permitted to be used in the oven.

A factor that influences moisture resistance, grease resistance, and the durability of the paper board is the PE coating's thickness. The thicker the PE coating, the higher the quality of the paper container. 

Despite its various benefits, polyethylene is still classified as a plastic film. PE is not biodegradable and compostable, but it can be recycled.

Single-sided PE coating advantages:

  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Excellent grease resistance
  • Excellent heat-seal ability
  • Recycled

Single-sided PE coating disadvantages:

  • It is not biodegradable.
  • Not biodegradable
  • For a long time, do not use the oven or microwave.
  • Not suitable for cold beverages or cold food.

Double-side PE coating on paper

Double-sided PE coating paper is more durable than single-sided one. Two sides of the paper board are laminated with polyethylene film when using double PE coating.

Double-sided PE lamination paper is a great choice for cold food or drink packaging. 

When serving cold food or beverages, condensation from atmospheric moisture appears on the outside layer of paper, and the entire paper container will be soft if there is no PE film coating on the outside layer.

Outside PE coating is available in glossy and matt surface finishes.

Double-sided PE coating advantages:

  • Matte or glossy finish
  • improved printing quality
  • Excellent for cold drinks and food.
  • Durable than a single pe coating
  • Water and grease-resistant

Dual-sided PE coating disadvantages:

  • It is not biodegradable.
  • Not biodegradable
  • Costlier than single PE lamination

PLA Coating on Paper

PLA coating is a mature paper coating solution for producing biodegradable paper bowls or cups. PLA stands for polylactic acid, which is derived from renewable sources such as starch or sugarcane. This type of paper coating is completely food-grade, biodegradable, and compostable.

PLA lamination paper is a stronger and more tear-resistant, environmentally friendly alternative to PE coating paper. PLA coating used in production is much thicker than PE coating.

In addition, PLA coating can withstand hot food and beverages. PLA coating paper is more expensive than PE coating paper.

PLA coating advantages: 

  • PLA coating is waterproof and grease-proof:
  • 100% biodegradable and eco-friendly
  • Long-lasting, zero-carbon footprint.

PLA coating disadvantages:

  • Costlier than traditional PE lamination (Single-sided & Double-sided PE)
  • In industrial conditions, they must decompose.

Water Based Barrier Coating (Aqueous Coating)

Water-based barrier coating (WBBC) is a new eco-friendly biodegradable paper lamination. It is not made of plastic (PE) or bio-plastic (PLA).

The new barrier coating (aqueous coating) provides adequate protection against liquid, coffee, salad, rice, and so on. 

Water-based coating degrades naturally in the same way that newspaper does due to the plastic-free coating. 

The aqueous coating can be applied on paper cups, paper bowls, paper plates, or other paper containers. 

WBBC can be used on kraft paper, cupstock, and bamboo paper. Plus, barrier coating is available for offset printing, flexo printing, and UV printing.

Water-based barrier coating benefits:

  • Plastic-free and 100% biodegradable
  • Decompose naturally
  • Water and grease-proof
  • Excellent resistance to both hot and cold content.

Water-based barrier coating Disadvantage:

  • WBBC has a higher cost than PLA lamination (Costly)

 Conclusion

When choosing paper bowls for serving food, it is essential to opt for those coated with food-grade materials to ensure the safety and quality of the food being served. By using food-grade coatings, you can rest assured that your paper bowls are safe, durable, and suitable for a variety of food items.

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