Barrier Against Mineral Oil

As the paper-based packaging industry in Europe prepares itself for an eventual legislation that governs the issue of mineral oil migration to food in direct contact with paper or board-based packaging, Imerys offers a unique, patent pending solution to the issue.


Research at Swiss-government run Food Safety Laboratory of the Canton of Zurich detected measurable levels of components from mineral oil escaping from the fibre structure into the packed food. Some of these components – Mineral Oil Saturated Hydrocarbons (MOSH) and Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons (MOAH) – are carcinogenic. And even with the use of an inner protective bag (PE or wax-based), levels of Mineral Oil components migrating into foodstuffs from board remain beyond food safety limits.


Our solution consists of back side coating of the packaging substrate with Imerys coating formulation. Our coating significantly reduces the vapor phase migration of saturated and aromatic mineral oils.

Minerals like mica, talc and kaolin – are all recognised as pigments that can provide barrier properties when used in mineral oil barrier coatings. However, developing optimized formulation for this application calls for knowledge on how unique pigment shapes and sizes allow the development of functional structures. The ability to blend the positive properties of various minerals is also key to create real synergies in the coating formulation. This experitse is the reason why Imerys coating solution provides a unique solution by reducing Oil Vapor Transmission Rate by 99% – thus providing an effective solution to the issue of mineral oil migration.

This is typically a domain where flexographic or rotogravure printer applied coatings can provide a cost-effective solution to the industry.


  • Can be used for board based on virgin and recycled fibres
  • Glueable with both hot melt and cold set adhesives
  • Repulpable
  • Heat sealable if required
  • FDA/BfR compliant for food contact
  • Can be applied using conventional coating techniques (Blade, rod, size press), or via flexo or rotary gravure-press

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