Specializing in HP 4500 Thermal InkJet Supplies, Service and Support

Coding Egg Cartons

How to print on Egg Cartons

Egg Batch and Date Codes Required: What Ink for Polystyrene, Plastic or Cartons? –


Egg farms around the globe are switching to Inkjet technology for the coding of variable information on their egg cartons. Manufacturers are required to mark information on their packaging such as lot/batch numbers, expiration dates, and barcodes.

The information on egg cartons (carton, polystyrene or plastic) is important for tracking individual units as well as batches of units, quality control, and aiding in the sale of the products. Coding this information onto egg cartons is a necessary and vital part of the product’s life cycle.

Choosing the Right ink for your Carton

With this in mind, here are the important considerations when choosing which inkjet ink for egg carton coding.

  • Type of substrate being marked? ie., pulp, plastic, polystyrene
  • Color of ink required? ie., black, blue, red, green
  • Printing frequency? ie., continuous, intermittent
  • Length of time for ink to dry? ie., less than 2 seconds
  • Proximity of printer relative to substrate? ie., within 5mm

Case Printing Solutions offers Fast Dry Solvent Ink with Long Decap (CPS – 800 – LD) as an all-around ink solution for egg cartons (other than paper pulp). The ink was formulated to address nozzle clogging during intermittent print applications, as frequently occurs in egg carton coding. Best of all, you can count on Case Printing’s Fast Dry Solvent Ink to print readable codes on the first carton after startup, and on every carton thereafter.

Other advantages of Case Fast Dry Solvent ink with Long Decap include:

  • Ability to print on glossy labels found on some egg cartons
  • Longer shelf life, so the ink doesn’t dry-out in the print nozzles
  • Improved smudge resistance, compared to other solvent black inks

The Fast Dry LD solvent black ink can be printed from virtually all cartridge  inkjet coders (based on the HP inkjet technology) found on our list of approximately 30 printer companies. To test the print quality of Fast Dry LD Solvent Ink on your specific substrate, we will gladly produce print samples for you on your substrate.

Printing on paper pulp Egg Cartons instead?

We also offer ink solutions for porous egg carton materials (ie pulp cartons), as those volumes continue to hold steady at egg packaging facilities.

Carton coding is a requirement for egg farms and factories across the U.S.

High resolution digital printing on egg cartons ensures Retailers can manage inventory, Consumers can check freshness of the product, and regulatory requirements are met for identifying and tracking products.

The global egg packaging market in 2018 was $5.25 billion and is expected to reach approximately $8.15 billion by 2025 (CAGR of 6.5%).One of the driving factors of the sustained growth is that Consumers are preferring eggs over meat as a safe and inexpensive source of protein.One uniqueness of the egg packaging market is the delicate nature of eggs, as they require careful packaging in order to prevent loss or damage. Conventionally used cartons and trays are meant to sustain shocks during transportation and handling. Additionally, their outer surfaces form an additional fitting that safeguards eggs from dislocation and prevents physical damage.

Egg Carton Coding Requirements:

Egg packaging is classified into paper (paperboard, recycled paper, and molded cup) and plastic (polyethylene terephthalate and polystyrene), and further broken down by cartons and trays.

Carton coding is a requirement for egg farms and factories across the U.S. High resolution digital printing on egg cartons ensuresRetailers can manage inventory, Consumers can check freshnessof the product, and regulatory requirements are met for identifying and tracking products.If eggs are packed under USDA’s grading service, the cartons can bear theUSDA grademark. According to the USDA, when the USDA grade shield is present on the carton, the carton must also be labeled with the date and location of where the eggs were packed.The pack date (the day that the eggs were washed, graded and placed in the carton) is a three-digit code that represents the consecutive day of the year (the “Julian Date”) starting with January 1 as 001 and ending with December 31 as 365. When a “sell-by” date appears on a carton bearing the USDA grade shield, the code date may not exceed 45 days from the date of pack. Most state requirements are similar.

Low Cost TIJ Date Code Solution

Case Printing Solutions offers coding solutions designed to perform across a wide range of packaging styles and materialssuch as pulp, plastic,andfoam.The full product line –based on HP THERMAL INKJET TECHNOLOGY -includes both industrialinks and printers. Collectively these solutions give the farms and egg packersthe ability to adapt to future line changes.Some of the critical features and benefits of the print technology include: