25 - 27 September 2018 // Nuremberg, Germany

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Food Safety

The observance of the applicable food safety laws is imperative for every manufacturing company using materials which come into direct contact with food stuffs. This is especially important for the raw materials used and their ingredients.
Since the transfer of substances from the packaging material onto the contents has to be reduced to a minimum, the law prescribes values for specific as well as global migration. The mandatory migration limits have to be checked regularly so that the absolute compliance of the packaging material to the applicable food regulations can be guaranteed. The identification and quantification of so called NIASs (“Not Intentionally Added Substances”) is a further step towards comprehensive food safety.

Global Migration

When testing global migration it has to be made sure that the total amount of substances which can be extracted out of a given packaging material with the help of certain food simulants does not exceed the value of 10 mg/dm2 (EUguideline 10/2011).
The following simulants are used respectively: olive oils as a simulant for fatty, ethanol 10% for aqueous, acetic acid 3% for acidic, ethanol 50% for alcoholic and TenaxTM for dry foods.
Depending on the type of food that has to be simulated (dry, fatty, acidic, aqueous, alcoholic) the suitable simulant is used for global migration. After 10 days at 40°C the amount of migrant in the simulant is measured. Using the conversion factor 6 dm2/ kg (Euro cube), the resulting value (at mg/kg) is then calculated at mg/dm2.

Specific Migration
Plastic films may only contain substances which are listed in the FCM-list of the EU-guideline 10/2011. The FCM-list states for each substance the limit which must not be exceeded in the migration testing. The measurement of the amount of migrant requires accurate analytical instruments. A GC/FID is best suited for this, and a large number of substances can be tested.

The identification of so-called NIASs (“Not Intentionally Added Substances”) completes the check of food safety with regards to migrating substances. Since these are substances which cannot be predicted before testing, they cannot be measured with the GC/FID because the instrument is not calibrated for their identification. However, a GC/MS (Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer) is ideal to identify such unexpected matter. The MS can identify substances 1:1, and the combined GC can then quantify their amounts.

Laboratory Equipment

1. Headspace Gas Chromatograph for measuring residual solvents
2. Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) for measuring thermal properties
3. Gas Chromatograph (GC) for migration testing (with Mass Spectrometer [MS])
4. Zwick Tensile Testing Machine for testing tensile strength, bond strength, seal strength and friction coefficient
5. Manual lamination machine
6. Fourier Transmission Infrared Spectrometer (FT-IR)
7. Microtome
8. Vacuum sealing tester
9. Digital lid closing torque meter
10. Induction sealing instruments
11. Torque tester
12. Ovens

First Aid for questions concerning flexible packaging

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