A US company said it is the first to offer commercial-scale supply of a corn-based chemical that it says has the potential to replace bisphenol A (BPA) in packaging.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) said it has added isosorbide to its chemical product line. The firm described the substance as an “industrial ingredient made from corn that is a potential alternative to the petroleum-based chemical Bisphenol A in plastics and other applications”
“The isosorbide ADM offers is not approved for food contact use,” a company spokeswoman told FoodProductionDaily.com. “Currently, commercial applications for isosorbide include use in personal care and pharmaceuticals. New industrial applications are still being developed. ADM recently began offering isosorbide to product developers and we are excited to see how formulators will incorporate this molecule in their applications.”
Robert Broomham, business director at ADM Industrial Chemicals, said the move offered manufacturers a renewable alternative to the traditional chemicals found in many products - including in polyesters for inks, toners, powder coatings, and packaging as well as in detergents, surfactants and additives for personal care and consumer products.
The company is producing the substance in both a technical grade (97 percent pure) and a polymer grade (99 percent pure).
Epoxy lining replacement?
While the chemical does not currently have food contact status, FoodProductionDaily.com is aware that research is ongoing on how the chemical could be used as a BPA-substitute in epoxy linings for food and beverage cans.
Earlier this year, Professor Michael Jaffe, of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, said he had received a US patent for an epoxy resin based on isosorbide diglycidyl ether that he believed could make consumer products safer.
“The patent will enable us to create a family of isosorbide-based epoxy resins that have the potential to replace bisphenol A in a number of products including food can linings”, Jaffe told this publication in February.
He added the team was looking to commercialise the product but the sector in which this first occurred be decided by the market.
“We need to work with an appropriate food packaging related company and those that could manufacture the epoxy resin to validate and scale up output of the product," he said. "It must be tuned and tailored to meet food packaging needs, as it hasn’t yet been tested as a food can liner.”