TPE for Household and Kitchen Items

Whether as a seal in a bread bin, food storage container or reusable coffee-to-go cups, as an ergonomic anti-slip element in cutlery, dishwashing brushes, laundry baskets or as a purely decorative element in kitchen utensils or household items – the possibilities for using thermoplastic elastomers for kitchen and household products are enormous.​

Particularly in the area of kitchen utensils for preparing, storing, cooking or baking, TPE materials are necessary which are suitable for direct contact with food.

Do you have any questions? Contact us and we will be happy to advise you on your individual requirements.

Low migration TPE for safe food contact

The legal requirements on plastics for materials coming into contact with food are high and are specified for the EU in the form of the EU/2011 Directive. According to the Directive, “Materials and items coming into contact with food may neither pose a risk to health nor cause an unacceptable change in the composition of food or impair its organoleptic properties.” The distributing company is obliged to provide evidence that the respective product complies with regulations. In order to obtain this verification, migration tests are required, for example, which examine whether the item adheres to the corresponding migration limit value of 10 mg/dm² or 60 mg/kg. Test conditions depend on the respective application of the end product. Accordingly, test simulations for determining migration and test conditions, test times and duration are determined by the laboratory depending on the respective product involved.

Apart from the tests to be carried out by independent test laboratories, ACTEGA has also carried out migration tests for the new SOFT EST.® portfolio based on thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) and provided evidence of use in direct contact with food using a variety of different foodstuffs. The material is suitable for applications coming into contact with food, i.e. for all aqueous, acidic, alcoholic and dry foodstuffs, whereby it goes without saying that the corresponding migration limits must be taken into consideration.​

Items used in the kitchen need to be able to withstand a multitude of strains. Food storage boxes, for example, can be frozen and therefore need to display the exact same characteristics at icy temperatures as those which are of advantage at room temperature. Such cases require a TPE sealing material which displays a low compression set at both room temperature and under freezer conditions. All kitchen devices have their own respective requirements in terms of the plastic materials used. During development, the SOFT EST.® TPE portfolio was tailored to this requirement profile.

Economical two component process production of household and kitchen articles with TPE

The latter are of importance for the two-component items which can often be found in the market for household and kitchen products, for example, and whose hard components are largely manufactured from PP. ACTEGA has modified mixtures for adhesion with the soft component made of TPE which leads to extremely good adhesion by SOFT EST.® on PP, as confirmed by adhesive tests in our in-house technical center. Accordingly, numerous items can be manufactured with outstanding haptic properties, displaying a special soft grip, an ergonomic grip texture or a non-slip element, e.g. plates with soft grip elements on the sides and a non-slip element on the base or to-go cups with a collar for a firm hold and protection from scalding.​

Other key features of household and kitchen items include their suitability for use in dishwashers and microwaves as well as their color-fastness and dimensional stability. As this fast-moving market also means attracting attention by way of special designs and colors, the SOFT EST.® product range offers the possibility of customized colors, with ACTEGA collaborating with partners capable of complying with any color request.

If you have plans for TPE applications, please feel free to contact us. Our experts will find the right material solution for your project.

Our brands for household and kitchen products


TPE products specially tailored to the demands of manufacturers of consumer goods applications.