KS Murthy: Toyo Ink India, complies with the content of the regulation IS -15495-2020

KS Murthy of Toyo Inks has always maintained that “sustainable ink products are the need of the hour.” In a conversation with Ramu Ramanathan of WhatPackaging? magazine, Murthy talks about the IS 15495 – 2020: Printing Ink for Food Packaging – Code of Practice. He says, “the ink industry has always come together to guarantee the standards to deliver sustainable products”

26 Apr 2023 | By Ramu Ramanathan

Murthy is deputy managing director of Toyo Ink India: The producers, converters and brand-owners have to adhere to the BIS rules together

Ramu Ramanathan (RR): As you are aware the new standards were introduced by BIS almost three years ago in 2020, what is the update since?
KS Murthy (KSM):
 The protocol in BIS to review the standards for confirmation, update and revision, closure for obsolescence, every five years. On that principle, IS 15495 – 2020: Printing Ink for Food Packaging – Code of Practice, is scheduled for revision in 2025. Meanwhile the committee responsible for development of this standard IS 15495-2000 in BIS CHD 14 is meeting regularly and engaged to work on the improvement areas.

RR: How does your company comply with IS 15495 standards?
Toyo Ink India, complies with the content of the regulation IS -15495-2020 through proper selection and strict quality control of raw materials and solvents. Plus we have a strong regulatory cell who keeps a check on the activities.

RR: Work is in progress to make IS 15495: 2020 at par with international norms by incorporating non-intentionally added substances (NIAS). How would this help the Indian ink industry?
Non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) are chemicals that are present in a food contact material (FCM) or food contact article (FCA) in trace amounts but have not been added intentionally for any technical reason during the production process. Incorporation of this in the standard will help the ink formulator to carefully select the raw material or inputs and be demanding for the necessary purity of chemicals from the upstream value chain.

RR: What challenges do you foresee?
From the regulatory viewpoint, there is no globally harmonised standard identifying NIAS in the ink formulation available for reproduction in IS 15495.

RR: Because of the chemicals ...
It is not possible to list all chemicals that may get carried into the ink non-intentionally as trace impurity.

RR: Describe the evaluation process?
Evaluation of NIAS for the Indian standard requires careful evaluation and validation of each possible chemical for toxicological profile, hazards to human health and environment and scope of contamination of food products. This requires engaging the resources and detailed study about the chemicals involved.

RR: What sort of timelines are we seeing?
It will take time to get into shape and to be incorporated in the standard. Hopefully we will complete the exercise before the next scheduled revision of the standard. The other challenge is that India is a very cost-sensitive market, and we face price fluctuations for multiple reasons.

RR: How does the ink formulation process vary for toluene-free ink?
The design of toluene-free ink formulation requires different grades of resins and different solvent combinations.

RR: Any message for brands and packaging converters about packaging inks.
The Toyo Ink Group is led by the Tokyo-based parent company Toyo Ink SC Holdings. Its global reach extends to 24 countries and is counted among the world’s largest ink producers with leading presence in Japan. In 2018, the Toyo Ink Group adopted the Scientific Innovation Chain 2027 or SIC27 as its long-term vision for sustainable growth.

RR: Any green solutions?
Oh yes. Toyo Ink has many solutions for developing a greener world through development of a low carbon society and redesigning circularity by water vapour and oxygen barrier coating, UV resistant coatings, water and oil resistant coating, high gloss coating, PVC-free inks, water-based inks, biomass-based inks and inks suitable for biodegradable packaging. Toyo is also a part of the global CFLEX initiative – circular economy for flexible packaging. All these developments require significant R&D investment and add cost to the product.
RR: One thing is clear. There is science behind every ink. How can this scientific message be shared?
It is ideal to study the science, trends and enable that knowledge to every level. Only education can change people’s perspective. That’s when people will understand the difference between normal ink and gold standard ink. At Toyo, we have colour scientists who are always inventing and reinventing the wheel as per our growing customer and market trends, it is a very good idea to inculcate knowledge about the science of colours.

RR: Final thoughts ...
All of us need to walk together to leave behind us a sustainable world as a gift for the future generations.

Two toluene-free ink brands in Toyo’s product portfolio
LP GEM NT – a toluene-free ink: LP GEM-NT is polyurethane binder-based toluene-free customer-friendly multipurpose ink, which is developed by applying innovative technology anticipating the market demands. Good printability can be achieved even at lower and higher press speed. LP GEM-NT has been developed as a high-performance reverse lamination ink - and is especially designed for use in packaging, snack and boil applications. It is suitable to print on various treated polymer films like corona-treated PET, CC PET, PVDC Coated PET, Nylon, and treated BOPP.

Liovalue E-2 – a toluene-free and ketone free ink system: Liovalue E-2 has been developed as a high-performance multi- purpose reverse printing ink. It can be used for non-boil, boil and high temperature retort applications. It is suitable to print on various treated poly films like corona-treated PET, CC PET, PVDC Coated PET, Nylon, OPP, treated BOPP. This is a toluene-and-ketone-free ink – a step ahead of the standard IS 15495 -2020 for consumer safety. Please note, the absence of both ketones and toluene can trigger a difficulty in printing, but Toyo with superior technology has overcome this for superior product performance and enhanced consumer safety.

Latest Poll

Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?


Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

Bagasse and biodegradable boxes



Corrugated boxes



Paper bags



Recyclable plastic (bubble wraps, bio-plastic)



Total Votes : 3


PackVision Expo 2024

Jun 13 - Jun 13 2024
Pune is set to host its first packa....