Kuraray Showcases Innovative Barrier Solutions for Medical & Pharmaceutical Packaging at Pharmapack 2023


Zwijndrecht/Antwerp, January 10th, 2023. Kuraray, the globally active specialty chemicals company headquartered in Japan, will be exhibiting at Pharmapack (Paris, February 1-2, 2023). At booth J84, EVAL Europe N.V. (a Kuraray subsidiary) will showcase its durable, high-performance EVAL™ ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) resins that can help improve medical and pharmaceutical packaging. Visitors can find out how Kuraray can support them to protect their Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and get a glance at EVAL™'s enhanced pharmaceutical packaging performance. In addition, they will get an impression of how EVAL™ can serve as a barrier to protect the medical or pharmaceutical products from contamination. Furthermore, Kuraray will show how EVAL™ is paving the way to a more sustainable future in recyclable multilayer structures.

EVAL™ EVOH is used to improve the safety, extend shelf life and process efficiency of packaging for e.g. liquid baby milk. (Source: Kuraray)
EVAL™ EVOH is used to improve the safety, extend shelf life and process efficiency of packaging for e.g. liquid baby milk. (Source: Kuraray)

Kuraray's booth at the Pharmapack show (J84) will be centered on EVAL™ EVOH and its application areas in the packaging industry. As a part of Kuraray’s Paper & Packaging segment, this innovative plastic is particularly relevant for the medical and pharmaceutical packaging, as it has better gas barrier properties than conventional polymers. As such, it helps to protect products from external contaminants, ensuring that they remain effective for a defined minimum period of time by preventing oxidation and avoiding leakages of important ingredients.

At Kuraray's booth, packaging engineers and manufacturers can learn how this innovative plastic can help them in three ways:

1. Protect Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)

The barrier function of EVAL™ EVOH keeps oxygen and contamination away from sensitive products and locks value such as the API inside. "This is a must-have for this kind of sensitive packaging content," explains Didier Houssier, Market Development Director at Kuraray. "Customers in the medical and pharmaceutical packaging industry need to make sure the API is well protected so it does not deteriorate and can help people in the most effective way," he says. Even in cases where food is specially treated, like baby food, EVAL™ barrier properties will protect the sensitive content of the product – such as the vitamin content – against oxidation. "This is why EVAL™ EVOH is used world-wide to improve the safety of baby milk and other infant formulas, extend their shelf life, and process the efficiency of their packaging," says Houssier.

2. Enhance Pharmaceutical Packaging Performance

The EVAL™ layer provides superior oxygen, CO2, or chemical barriers to the multilayer medical and pharmaceutical packaging, thus enhancing packaging performance. "EVAL™’s gas barrier properties provide more performance per thickness than any conventional polymer," says Market Development Director Houssier. "An EVAL™-based packaging of just one millimeter in thickness makes up for a functional barrier equivalent to a plastic wall that is 10 meters thick. This ensures lightweight packaging that is resource-efficient and reduces waste," he adds. Furthermore, EVAL™ barrier properties avoid vitamin and fat oxidation. "Due to all of these characteristics, EVAL™ is particularly relevant for oral dose blisters and bottles, and parenteral nutrition packaging as well," says Houssier.

3. Avoid Contaminations, Reduce Migration, Enable a Transparent Barrier

As EVAL™ locks value and quality inside the receptacle, keeping oxygen outside, it reduces contamination as well as migration in both ways. Furthermore, it is transparent, thus allowing for visibility of content and for keeping a possible quality check before injection. Both aspects make EVAL™ particularly suitable for dialysis and ostomy bags, sachets, and transdermal patch packaging.

Environmentally friendly: ISCC-PLUS Certification for Bio-Circular EVOH

EVAL Europe N.V, is the first EVOH copolymer producer to receive a corresponding ISCC-PLUS certificate for the bio-circular ethylene monomer in its supply chain. ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) is a leading global certification system that covers all sustainable raw materials, including agricultural and forestry biomass, biogenic waste, recycled materials, and renewable energy. ISCC-PLUS Renewable Resource certification supports the use of bio and circular feedstocks, also accepting the mass balance approach.

In addition to EVAL™ EVOH resin, Kuraray also offers EVAL™ monolayer film which provides ultra high barrier performance from biaxially oriented and even metalized EVOH. It can be laminated with a protective outer substrate to make a barrier sealant packaging film. EVAL™ provides the functional barrier against gas and chemical permeation, and at the same time offers excellent anti-scalping and chemical resistance properties as the inner contact layer. EVAL™ monolayer film for lamination is also suitable for heat sealing and can resist flavor absorption. It can be typically used in transdermal patch packaging.


About EVAL Europe N.V., a Kuraray company

Established in 1997, EVAL Europe N.V. is based in Zwijndrecht, near Antwerp, Belgium. It is part of Kuraray, a global specialty chemicals company that is the world leader in high gas barrier technology, production and technical development of ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH). EVOH is used as a superior barrier material to efficient multilayer structures. Kuraray has EVOH production facilities in Japan, the USA and Belgium. In Europe, EVAL Europe is the region’s largest EVOH production site with more than 150 employees.

Kuraray Paper & Packaging can help design functional packaging. Almost any shape is possible: tubs, pouches, bottles, bag-in-box, trays, pods, fruit sleeves, … the possibilities are endless. Whatever customers opt for, our technical experts can help them develop the optimal packaging structure. That saves them time and money in the development of sustainable and innovative packaging.


Press contact:
Evelien Raemdonck
Marketing Coordinator
EVAL Europe N.V.
Haven 1053 – Nieuwe Weg 1, Bus 10
2070 Zwijndrecht (Antwerp)
Phone: +32 3 250 98 35
Email: Evelien.Raemdonck@kuraray.com 
Internet: www.eval.kuraray.com