Starlinger Receives FDA Approval for Decontamination Dryer

New system allows the company to produce food-grade flakes from post-consumer recycled HDPE.

August 6, 2012
Recycling Today Staff

The Austrian company Starlinger has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its deCON decontamination dryer that makes food grade flakes from post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) milk bottles. The company notes that the cleaning efficiency of the deCON enables the reuse of post-consumer recycled (PCR) HDPE for food packaging applications under a number of conditions.

According to Starlinger, because of its higher diffusion and absorption behavior, PCR HDPE faces stricter safety criteria than PCR PET (polyethylene terephthalate). Because of that, a prerequisite for the production of food grade HDPE is a strictly defined input material stream. The Starlinger LNO (letter of nonobjection) is based on PCR HDPE milk bottles with sorting purity of greater than 99 percent. The LNO is granted for the use of up to 50 percent of recyclate content in the HDPE container under conditions E through G (for definitions of the different conditions, click here).

Starlinger says the recycled HDPE market is promising within the food packaging industry. In 2010, the HDPE recycling rate in the United Kingdom was 76 percent.

To further boost HDPE recycling rates, Starlinger viscotec, a division of Starlinger, has seven years of experience in decontamination and IV-increase of post-consumer PET material. The company has sold two deCON modules for food grade recovery of PCR HDPE. Due to the sophisticated technology of the viscotec equipment, cleaning efficiencies of around 99.9 percent are achieved, making the recyclate comparable with virgin material.

The solid state reactor viscoSTAR processes pellets, and flakes and can be installed in front of a production extruder, after a pelletizing line, or as a stand-alone unit. The decontamination dryer deCON can be used to make recycled bottles into dry, food-grade PET or HDPE, to feed a production extruder or as a stand-alone unit.

More information on the product line is available at