Kitchen roll – a household staple

It’s easy to wipe surfaces dry using kitchen roll – a safe solution for every home. Its product safety is monitored closely. 

Some of the strict safety requirements that apply to food also apply to kitchen roll. For example, its production process must be hygienic at all times. 

Metsä Tissue’s mills have certified hygiene systems (ISO 22000, BRC or IFS), and kitchen roll is safe to use even when it comes into brief contact with food. For example, a grilled sausage can be safely wrapped in kitchen roll and enjoyed. 

However, lunch should be packed in Metsä Tissue’s SAGA deli bags made from greaseproof paper or in SAGA greaseproof paper. 

The Lambi and Serla brands, which are sold in the Nordic countries, have come first in several consumer comparisons because of their absorbency, durability and high level of hygiene. 

Product safety begins with the raw materials 

“Product safety is the sum of many factors. It always begins with the raw materials,” says Eija Saski, Product Safety and Sustainability Manager at Metsä Tissue. 

Wood fibre accounts for 99% of the weight of kitchen roll. 

“Metsä Tissue uses both types of pulp –  fresh fibre made from wood and recycled fibre - in its products. Their product safety can be controlled. However, the quality of recycled fibre keeps decreasing. Fresh fibre is a safe product for materials that come into contact with food.” 

Metsä Tissue will increasingly focus on products based on fresh fibre and will invest in growing its production. The major investment planned in Sweden is a good example of this. 

Knowing the origin of wood is at the core of sustainable and environmentally sound paper production. “We always know the origin of the wood we purchase, and we know that all the wood fibre we use comes from sustainably managed forests,” Saski points out. 

Safe and sustainable production 

Less than 1% of the weight of a household towel sheet is wet-resistant adhesive, which keeps the paper intact when moist. The wet-strength adhesive and all other additives used in the production of Metsä Tissue’s tissue papers come from reliable suppliers who comply with the company’s ethical guidelines. 

All Metsä Tissue’s products are manufactured in line with good production practices, and the company uses quality (ISO 9001), environmental (ISO 14001) and product safety (ISO 22000, BRC and IFS) management systems at its mills. In addition to the approval of all raw materials, the finished tissue products are tested to ensure their safety. 

According to European Union guidelines, kitchen roll or other products used with food products must not release substances into the food that are harmful for human health, or that change the taste or smell of the food. 

Clear guidelines ensure safety 

In its production, Metsä Tissue complies with the recommendations of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, which list raw materials and test methods approved for the production of paper that comes into contact with food. These recommendations are widely recognised in the industry. 

In cooperation with the European Tissue Symposium, the Confederation of European Paper Industries and other operators in the field, Metsä Tissue has also participated in the preparation of guidelines for paper and paperboard materials that come into contact with food. The updated guidelines were released last year, and they now also concern tissue papers for the first time. 

“The new monitoring guidelines are a compilation of best practices in the field. They provide all operators with a streamlined tool that makes it easy to monitor the production of paper for food contact and ensure its product safety,” says Saski. 

Text: Johanna Lindblom 
Photos: Metsä Tissue