Food Contact Materials

Food Contact Materials

Food contact materials are materials and articles that are intended to come into contact with food. 

Regulation, (EU) No.10/2011 is for plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

The Plastics Directive includes a positive exclusive list of monomers and additives.

The national regulations for rubbers are not harmonized by the EU member states yet, and therefore they often vary between countries.

Regulations, (EU) No.10/2011 contain positive or incomplete lists of substances. These substances may be listed with a restriction in food, in most cases as a Specific Migration Limit (SML). If the migration of a substance with a SML at the intended use stays below the defined threshold, the application is deemed safe for use. The specific migration is calculated or tested at the condition of use. The conditions of use are amongst others the food species, the contact time and contact temperature. In some cases, food simulants can be used in place of actual food testing.

In addition, plastic materials and articles shall not transfer their constituents to food simulants in quantities exceeding 10 milligrams of total constituents released per dm² of food contact surface (mg/dm²). This is tested by overall migration tests.

Overall Migration Test

"Migration" tests for the determination of overall migration are carried out using the "food simulants" and "conventional migration test conditions.

The aqueous food simulants shall be of the following:

- Distilled water or water of equivalent quality, simulant A;
- 3 % acetic acid (w/v) in aqueous solution, simulant B;
- 10 % ethanol (v/v) in aqueous solution, simulant C.

The fatty food simulants are as follows:

- rectified olive oil, "reference simulant D".

Food simulants A, B and C are assigned for foods that have a hydrophilic character and are able to extract hydrophilic substances. Food simulant B shall be used for those foods which have a pH below 4.5. Food simulant C shall be used for alcoholic foods with an alcohol content of up to 20 % and those foods which contain a relevant amount of organic ingredients that render the food more lipophilic.

Please click here to get more information about Elastron TPE grades for food applications.