Pasteurization extends a food product's shelf life. As opposed to sterilization, this technique does not destroy all microorganisms, but instead reduces their numbers to such a low level that they don't cause disease. The pasteurization process varies from a few minutes to as much as a few hours, at a temperature of approximately 85°C. This process is usually carried out under conditions of 100% humidity by immersing the packaging, for example, or by treating it with steam.
Needless to say, pasteurization has an impact on the ink and lacquers of IML labels. MCC Verstraete has developed a specific combination of inks along with a special lacquer, that prevents labels from ‘bleeding’ (i.e. the running of magenta ink) during pasteurization, or from damage to the lacquer. Pasteurization resistant IML labels retain their quality and appearance, even after the IML packaging containers have been pasteurized.