Penford Products Co., a division of Penford Corporation (NASDAQ: PENX), today announced that it is developing and testing novel technology utilizing natural and renewable ingredients to replace fluorochemicals used in food packaging applications. Major producers of food packaging materials are currently testing this proprietary technology, which is the subject of a pending patent application.
Fluorochemicals are currently used to provide oil and grease resistance in the growing market segments of sandwich wraps, fry scoops and microwave popcorn bags. These petroleum-based chemicals break down to release perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Human exposure to PFOA can result from consumption of food products that have come in contact with fluorochemical-based coatings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been investigating PFOA due to its persistence in the environment, presence in the human blood stream and other adverse effects that PFOA has been shown to have in laboratory animals ( www.epa.gov/oppt/pfoa/).
“We are truly excited with the development of these naturally derived solutions to address the health and environmental concerns created by use of traditional fluorochemicals,” said Tom Malkoski, CEO of Penford Corporation. “This new product platform aligns with our strategy to create value for our customers by developing sustainable products to replace petroleum-derived materials.”
Prototype products created with this technology exhibit performance characteristics at least equivalent to products made with fluorochemicals. Penford’s technology is designed to be used in existing food packaging production equipment as a cost-competitive replacement for fluorochemicals.About Penford Corporation Penford Corporation develops, manufactures and markets specialty, natural-based ingredient systems for a variety of industrial and food applications. Penford has five manufacturing and/or research locations in the United States.