Optical Brightening Agents, or OBAs, are chemicals used in the paper and pulp process to enhance the visual perception of whiteness and brightness in paper products. These chemicals absorb invisible ultraviolet light and convert it into visible blue-violet light, resulting in a perceived enhancement of whiteness in the paper.

In the process, OBAs are either added directly to the pulp during pulp blending or to the coating during paper surface treatment. OBAs can be used alone or in combination with other bleaching agents and surface treatment chemicals to achieve desired optical properties in paper products.

Despite the visual benefits of OBAs, there are some drawbacks, including potential effects on long-term lightfastness and risks of sensitivity to light and aging over time. Therefore, the use of OBAs must be balanced with the requirements for sustainability and product quality in the paper and pulp process.

When it comes to food packaging, it is important to note that the use of OBAs may be subject to regulation and requirements from food safety regulatory authorities. It is necessary to ensure that the chemicals used are safe for contact with food and that they do not migrate to the food in harmful levels.

We can help you analyze OBA:

  • ISO Brightness
  • pH
  • Dry content
  • Viscosity

It is possible to watch/visulise OBA in light microscopy and SEM/EDX.