Toyochem Co., Ltd., the polymers and coatings subsidiary of Japan’s Toyo Ink Group, has launched a new line of Bisphenol A non-intent (BPA-NI) internal coatings for metal beverage bottles and cans. Based on acrylic emulsion and polyester resins, the new BPA-NI internal sprays and coil coatings for stay-on tab (SOT) ends are formulated to achieve required performance results, while also addressing BPA-related health and food safety concerns from regulators and consumers alike. Toyochem will be marketing its BPA-NI solutions under the new brand name Lionova, as the company seeks to expand its position in markets overseas.

Traditionally, epoxy resins have been used to line the interiors of metal food and beverage cans. Since epoxy resins are made from Bisphenol A, a potentially endocrine-disrupting substance, epoxy coatings contain small traces of BPA, which is under suspicion of causing health issues. As a result, the demand for BPA-NI coatings is gathering momentum as government agencies across the globe start to regulate BPA more strictly and even ban its usage in food packaging altogether. This trend has resulted in a shift toward BPA-free packaging in end-use industries.

To meet this rise in demand, Japan-based Toyochem researchers applied the company’s unique polymer design technology to formulate can coatings that do not contain BPA and have low free monomer content. Designed with human and environmental health in mind, Lionova coating compositions are based on FDA (21 CFR175.300). During evaluation testing, styrene concentrations were below the detection limit of 0.001 µg/L. In addition, Lionova systems offer excellent bendability, durability and suitability, with a wide range of container types and retort resistance levels that are needed to meet the performance requirements of today’s can makers.

The acrylic-based LIONOVA-500 is a soap-free emulsion that’s suitable for applications that require high hygiene or high-temperature sterilization. It demonstrates feathering resistance during the shaping process, relative to BPA-epoxy coatings, as it achieves values around 80µm at a dry film weight of 110 mg/dm2.

The polyester-based LIONOVA-600 formulation is comprised of optimal functional groups that help form a cross-linking structure, resulting in formability and barrier properties, based on the polyester’s molecular weight and glass transition point. These coatings are highly flexible and durable with 3T-Bend ERV of 0.1 mA at 110 mg/dm2.

The LIONOVA-100 acrylic spray lacquer for DI cans demonstrates spray coverage at high speeds, along with flavor properties. For bottle can interiors, Toyochem also offers the LIONOVA-300 acrylic internal spray, which features bendability and spray coverage reliability for screw processing applications.

“We’re pleased to introduce to the world the new Lionova lineup of BPA-NI internal food-contact coatings for metal packaging,” says Yoshimoto Nakajima, division director, packaging & industrial division, Toyochem Co., Ltd. “The Lionova name derives from the Latin ‘nova’, meaning ‘new’, combined with ‘lion’, the historical mascot of the Toyo Ink Group. With the rebranded Lionova lineup, we aim to expand our presence in markets in Europe and North America, where BPA non-intent solutions are in high demand, in particular with all major brands. Lionova solutions are able to offer brand owners a novel alternative to epoxy-based liners, while meeting critical mechanical and local regulatory requirements.”

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