Less Fog, More Visibility

By December 21, 2020 No Comments

Antifog additives
Earlier this month India Times reported that the Indian online grocery market could exceed Rs. 22,500 Crores in 2020, a good 76% jump over last year. The pandemic has been behind this shift in consumers preferring to avail online services. Most online delivery platforms will wrap up the produce in cling film or sometimes use brown paper bags to package the food items. As consumers we would like to see what is within the packaged item, without having to rip open the packaging, and to ensure that we have not been inadvertently supplied a wrong item or worse, some rotten item.

To ensure that this requirement in films used for agricultural produce is met, films will need to have antifog properties. Traditional agricultural films are not durable enough with respect to antifog properties. The answer lies in using antifog additives in the production of films.

Why use anti-fog additives?

Fogging often appears when freshly packaged food is placed in refrigerated storage. To overcome this problem anti-fogs are used to control water condensation in the packaging.

An anti-fog additive lowers the surface tension of the film surface and allows the water droplets to spread into a thin film. It allows for higher transparency and ensures that water is not collected at the bottom of packaging which could shorten shelf life of the product.

In food packaging the antifog additive enhances product appeal and shelf life. When food is packaged in film where water droplets form, it will lead to damaged produce and the presence of water will allow the produce to begin to rot.

When used in greenhouses, antifog additives used in the film improves light transmission that enhance crop growth.  It also prevents water droplets form falling and damaging the crop. 

The film used to wrap up these items is specially treated with chemicals at the production stage itself to prevent and reduce fogging up the surface with either hot or cold substances.

At I. R. Tubes our antifog additives offer the solution to problems related to formation of water droplets on plastic films.  

Our antifog additives improve hot and cold fog performance of polyolefins and other food packaging applications. In addition, we focus on easy to use antifog additives that are cost effective solutions that improve durability of the antifog performance of agricultural film.

The Need for Better Packaging Solutions

What makes the use of better packaging more imperative is that on January 3, 2019 the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) announced new regulations with respect to food packaging. India’s new packaging regulations ban both the use of recycled plastics in food packaging and the use of newspaper and such other materials for packing or wrapping of food articles.

Some facts known and unknown about Anti-fog Technology
  • Anti-fog chemicals were first developed by NASA during the Gemini (pronounced Jimini) program to be used in helmet visor, in 1961.  During a spacewalk an astronaut experienced fogging in his helmet.  Thus, started the journey to develop anti-fog products, the pursuit of better anti-fog technology continues till today.
  • There are many types of anti-fog chemicals, coating, and technology. The most popular chemicals used as anti-fog are called surfactants and they act by minimizing the surface tension of the water.
  • Demisters, i.e. online myths about household materials that could serve as anti-fog agents have been making the rounds for a while.
  • Dipping googles in fresh water before swimming to prevent anti-fog.  Well, this does not work. Water is not an anti-fogging agent.
  • Saliva to your lens? This works for a short while and is not a long-term solution.
  • Toothpaste? This works to some extent, but you face the danger of scratching your lens as toothpaste can be abrasive.

The antifog additives market worldwide is projected to grow from USD 335 million in 2019 to USD 417 million by 2024, at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2019 to 2024. Surging demand for antifog films from the end use industries such as food packaging and agriculture is fuelling the growth of the market across the globe. Increasing demand for packaged food from emerging economies acts as an opportunity for the growth of the antifog additives market, worldwide. The fabrication of existing anti-fogging coatings is often time-consuming in addition to potential toxicity issues.

I. R. Tubes Pvt. Ltd. is the specialty chemical distributors for external anti-fog additives viz: Loxiol A4 Spezial and Loxiol AF 80

Raju Jethmalani
IRTubes Pvt. Ltd., Pune

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