MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions, a global leader in film coating technology, has expanded its Autotex AM range of hardcoated films with several new finishes for the quick service sector. The range incorporates Microban®, a proven antimicrobial technology which is distributed evenly throughout the textured hardcoat. When the treated film is used for applications such as table top overlay or back-of-house human machine interface (HMI) applications in a restaurant setting, the built-in antimicrobial properties help fight stain and odor-causing bacterial growth, delivering dependable and constant surface protection.

Autotex film is a proven high abrasion and chemical-resistant film coupled with second surface printability for both surface and graphic protection. It is widely used in HMI applications from hospital bed controllers to CNC machine control panels. The robust, high-quality textured polyester film is both cleanable and durable, allowing for more frequent and aggressive cleaning regimes required in the current quick service climate. By treating the surface with an antimicrobial layer, Autotex AM not only ensures restaurant surfaces remain intact despite increased use of cleaning chemicals and more frequent cleaning regimes, but also helps surfaces remain cleaner in-between cleans. This means customers can return to restaurant environments with cleanliness confidence.

Anna Harris, R&D Project Manager at MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions, explained the significance of antimicrobial product protection for fast food areas. “We’ve never had more of a focus on cleanliness than we have right now and as people prepare to return to fast food restaurants to eat-in, these facilities will need to help diners overcome ‘cleanliness anxiety’, reinforcing the cleanliness levels of key surfaces within restaurants.

“It is likely that cleaning regimes will have been upgraded with more frequent cleans and a greater use of cleaning agents. Surfaces must be able to withstand more intensive cleaning, in addition to ensuring higher levels of cleanliness even in-between cleans. By incorporating antimicrobial technology into the design of surfaces especially in high traffic areas within a restaurant, fast food businesses can help to protect surfaces, their business and reputation.

“Both MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions and Microban® adhere to strict regulatory compliance, which protects quick service customers from false claims and helps ensure corporate social responsibility, even during these unprecedented times. Furthermore, because the film is not based on PVC material, it also helps customers achieve sustainability objectives.”

A recent industry report from Grand View Research predicts that the global antimicrobial additives market will grow at a CAGR of 8.4% a year to reach USD 2.2 billion by 2027. The food & beverage end-use segment is expected to witness the fastest growth rate over the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to extensive utilization of additives in shelving, flooring, food processing equipment, ice-making machines, storage containers, water coolers, and water hydration systems in the food & beverage industry. Increasing population and changing lifestyles are also anticipated to drive the product demand in the food & beverage sector over the forecast period.

“Adding Microban® technology to our Autotex range enables us to create cleanable, durable and high-performing antimicrobial-treated surfaces for US quick service restaurants,” added Harris. “With the entire global food service industry transitioning to more self-service applications, and consumer awareness of surface cleanliness at an all-time high, it is more important than ever to offer solutions that complement existing cleaning routines and deliver added peace of mind.”