Blankenhain/Thuringia - The GRAFE-Group is an innovative partner to
the plastics processing industry. A joint venture between SENSIENT Imaging
Technologies GmbH and specialist masterbatch manufacturer GRAFE has managed to
combine food colouring and bio-based plastics.
Environmental awareness and health protection have played an exemplary role within the GRAFE-Group
for several years. The company markets masterbatches for colouring bioplastics under the brand name
“Biocolen”. Combining plastics derived from renewable raw materials with food colourings opens new
ways of achieving closed loop recycling.
The silica encapsulated colourants (SEC) by SENSIENT Imaging Technologies provide a technical
solution for encapsulating natural food colourings which greatly restricts migration in formulations. Silica
was chosen deliberately as this material is present in foods and is approved for food use. The silicate
matrix - the protective layer encapsulating the colourings - limits the oxidising effect of oxygen on the dye
molecules and improve the colourings’ resistance to solvents, water, pH and environmental influences
and minimise migration of the dyes out of the matrix. A wide range of natural and synthetic food
colorants is used.
The GRAFE Group has tested the colourings in different polymers, which has resulted in several colour
combinations such as brown, green, orange, yellow, red and violet.