8 Mineral Oil-Free Ink Companies Complying with EU Standards for Food Packaging

The recent ban by the EU on mineral-oil-based printing inks for food packaging has sparked a renewed interest in finding safer alternatives. This move has prompted several companies to look for mineral oil-free inks that are compliant with the EU guidelines.

To help you stay ahead of the curve, we have compiled a list of five major ink companies leading the charge in developing MOF inks. 

This adaptation of mineral oil-free inks is crucial, as MOAH and MOSH, the primary components of these inks, pose significant risks to public health. 

Which companies are working on making mineral-oil-free printing inks?

Siegwerk Farbenfabrik Keller, Dr. Rung & Co.

Based in Germany, Siegwerk has been leading in providing the world with printing inks for packaging and labels. 

In May 2022, it became India’s first 100% mineral oil-free ink plant. During its launch in India, the president of Siegwerk India and Greater China said, “Siegwerk intends to offer mineral oil-free inks, to not only further improve the end-consumers safety, but also environmental safety, as we will not contribute any more to the presence of mineral oils in the recycled stream.” 

Their mineral oil-free line is titled Vega. It is a worthy alternative to mineral oil inks as it combines vibrant color intensity, printing quality, dot sharpness, color saturation, gloss, and drying capabilities. Also, most importantly, it uses vegetable oil derivatives in its composition, thereby greatly decreasing the risk of introducing harmful substances into the bloodstream. 

Furthermore, the portfolio of the Vega line is impressive as it contains six different inks to cater to different domains.

  • The Vega Pro-Rich, like its name, is suitable for high-quality printing as it has good dot sharpness, gloss retention, and color contrast and leaves minimal wastage.
  • The Vega Impression is catered more toward commercial and high-end packaging as it provides a faster turnaround time. 
  • The Vega Nature LT is perfect for most materials due to its moderate viscosity and fast drying feature. 
  • The Vega Sprint was created and named considering the need for fast drying and a quick ink-water balance.
  • The Vega Vibrant + boasts over 20 base colors to cover a wider shade portfolio. Other than that, it has high color strength and good drying properties. 
  • The Vega Prime is unique, with 25 base inks and good roller stability and ink transfer, and perfect for post-print operations.

Kao Collins Inc.

Kao Collins, a Japanese company, has invented a new technology of water-based ink that is completely free of mineral oils. The name of the technology is LUNAJET – Nanodispersion Water-based Pigment Ink. It has a patent-US20170022382A1 to its name granted in 2018. 

The company developed the technology using a polymer dispersion containing charge-repulsive and steric-repulsive groups. In turn, creating an encapsulated pigment dispersion with high stability in hydrophilic and hydrophobic environments. 

This technology involves coating the pigment surface with polymer dispersion, which disperses the pigment at the nano-level with a size ranging from 50 to 120 nanometers. This prevents pigment clumping, allowing for stable dispersion of pigments in ink. This technology also enables stable ink jetting even with long printing times and uniform dispersion of pigments on the media, resulting in stable image quality. (Source)

Additionally, Lunajet Ink is suitable for paper and film packaging, thereby reducing plastic consumption in food packaging.


Advantages of this technology

  • It is designed for digital printing on food packaging and therefore results in no cracks or peeling. 
  • It can be printed on both low/no porous materials and high porous materials without a problem. 
  • It emits negligible VOC compounds during printing, thereby improving the work environment.
  • It is odor free due to its nano-dispersion technology.

Squid Ink Manufacturing, Inc.

Based in Brooklyn, Squid Ink Manufacturing, Inc. introduced its new Mineral Oil Free inks line in 2018. These inks have been approved for use in Xaar® 128 and 502 print heads, including Squid Ink’s CoPilot and AutoPilot family of printers. 

Squid Ink’s inks are completely free of mineral oil and have been specifically designed to replace petroleum-based inks on porous substrates. In response to European food safety regulations, the company has formulated inks without hazardous air pollutants and ingredients to eliminate the risks associated with mineral oil ink contamination in the food packaging industry.

Squid Ink’s MOF inks are eco-friendly and have been engineered to match the same high standards as their oil-based inks. They provide dark, reliable print quality that makes package coding easier to read and makes it easier to scan barcodes.


Furthermore, it offers a variety of base colors, including black, red, blue, and green, for manufacturers in need of colored inks. 

InkJet, Inc.

InkJet, Inc., the quintessential name in the printing world, changed its ink formulas in 2018 to be mineral oil free. This decision came after the recommendation of CETI, CITPA, and the German Federation of Food Law and Food Science. Based in Texas, they released 7 inks, oil and glycol-based, that conform to the EU law, namely-

  • TRJ 101 – Oil-based dye ink for Trident® printheads
  • XRJ 102 – Oil-based pigment ink for Xaar® printheads
  • XRJ 103 – Oil-based pigment ink cleaner/flushing solvent
  • IMA 8032 – Solvent-based dye ink for Xaar printheads, fast drying
  • SQ 4778 – Solvent-based dye ink for Xaar printheads, slow drying
  • 271 – Glycol-based dye ink for Trident printhead
  • 272 – Glycol-based dye ink for Trident printhead


They are suitable for a wide range of operations and printheads while also offering high permeability and good resolution. 

Flint Group

Headquartered in Luxembourg, the Flint Group offers a variety of printing inks, presses, etc. It currently offers two kinds of ink series for packaging that are mineral-oil free and migration proof, thereby perfect for food packaging. 

  • Novasens metallic premium

A low-migration and low-odor ink series with high brilliance and good printability. Available in four colors, they are free of mineral oil and suitable for food packaging.

  • Novasens BCS premium

This ink series comes in 10 base color inks and black and white to create several pigments. They are also low migration and low odor, as well as suitable for outer food packaging and semi-luxury packaging. Moreover, they are highly pigmented, and 3 of the colors have particularly high binding properties. They are especially suited for gloss-coated paper and boards because of their quality intensity and good color brilliance. (Source)

Other notable companies working on Mineral oil-free printing inks for food packaging

  • Tianjin Angel Chemicals Group has filed a patent application for mineral oil-free printing inks for food packaging comprising plant oil as their base ingredient. It offers rheological properties, quick curing, high printability, impressive glossiness, and exceptional stability. 
  • Domino Printing Sciences PLC, from Cambridge, UK, started manufacturing 100% mineral oil-free inks over concerns about ink migration into food. The ink is termed 950BK MOF black ink. It comprises vegetable oils, is non-hazardous, and is compatible with Domino’s C6000 drop-on-demand outer case coding printer, which is mainly used for food packaging applications. Source

Future Outlook

The eco-friendly inks market will be worth US$ 4.55 billion in 2023 and is predicted to rise to US$ 7.5 billion by 2032. 

Countries like Europe and India have made it mandatory for food packaging companies to use safe inks. It is clear as day that innovators are making huge strides in the printing ink domain to meet their sustainability goals. And now, with the EU ban, more innovation is bound to follow.

If you, too, are looking to create packaging that is free of mineral oils inks by collaborating with such companies, then we can help you choose the ones that align with your business goals. After all, collaborating with the right team can make or break the game for you.

So, reach out to us, and we can create a tailored report of companies creating mineral oil-free printing inks for food packaging to guide you in your next business move.

Get in touch

Authored by: Moksha Jain, Marketing Team.

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