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Services >> Testing >> Food Contact Materials

Your industry. Our Focus

Testing of Food Contact Materials, Equipment and Packaging

Your industry, our focus

Index:

 

Type of customers

Manufacturers from

  • Raw material suppliers
  • Packaging suppliers
  • Industrial goods, food processing equipment
  • Consumer goods

Brand owners

Importers, distributors and traders

Retailers

Other players

  • Consumer Associations
  • Non-governamental Organisations (NGOs)
  • Market Surveillance Authorities

Consumers

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Product Ranges

Industrial Goods and Professional Products

Raw Materials used in food packaging and in the food-processing industry

  • Adhesives
  • Granulates
  • Paper
  • Plastics
  • Metal
  • Ceramic
  • Wood
  • Silicones
  • Rubber
  • Yarns, thread, fabric
  • Lacquers
  • Printing inks…

Food Processing Equipment and equipment for Hotels, Restaurant & Catering (Horeca)

  • Fishing nets, cloths, bags
  • Equipment and parts in touch with food and/or or beverages or its ingredients
  • Conveyor belts
  • Food / beverages / ingredient containers of any kind (Cans, barrels, bottles, tetra-packs, etc.)
  • Cooking utensils & cutlery
  • Gloves
  • Uniforms…

Consumer Products

Table- and kitchenware

  • Plates, glassware, cutlery
  • Placemats, tissues
  • Pots and pans, utensils
  • Food containers
  • Foils, wraps, freezer bags…

Kitchen appliances

  • Coffee makers, filters
  • Mixers, blenders
  • Weights
  • Electrical openers, cutters…

Childcare articles

  • Pacifiers, feeding bottles, rattlers…

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Food Contact Materials in the international scenario

Globalization makes it easy for consumers to pick and choose from the best products worldwide.

Regulatory framework becomes increasingly more stringent in every country and region, in favour of the safety and health of the population and a sustainable development.

The Authorities impart civil and penal liability upon manufacturers, importers and brand owners.

Specifically in the industry of concern, any product or materials intended to come into contact with food shall not:

  • Endanger human health
  • Cause any unacceptable change in the composition of the foodstuffs
  • Cause any deterioration of the organoleptic characteristics of the foodstuffs

Hot in the regulatory agenda:

  • Composition
  • Specific migration of certain hazardous chemicals
  • Extractable substances
  • Overall migration 

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Good reasons to partnership with Eurofins

Eurofins’ technical managers are involved in Standardization committees and Industry associations for Food Contact Materials, keeping the company abreast of the most updated regulatory and market trends.

Beyond compliance testing we customize the service to help your products deliver according to your claims and benchmark:

  • Document review
  • Toxicological risk assessment
  • Trouble shooting

Testing is performed through our state-of-the-art network of laboratories:

  • In alignment with our Competence Centres
  • According to applicable regulations and standards for different target markets

High level regulatory consultancy and testing services are offered from our Competence Centres for Food Contact Materials in Germany and Denmark.

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Regulatory framework

Compliance

 Consultancy and Compliance strategies for food packaging materials

Eurofins Product Testing helps importers, user and producers of food packaging and raw materials for food packaging to fulfil European legal requirements

Food packaging and all kind of materials and articles intended to come into contact with food are well regulated in the European Union and other parts of the world. Mainly migration, specific migration of certain chemicals as well as overall migration from various food packaging materials, are exhaustively regulated. As not each single composition of food packaging materials can be evaluated by laboratory migration testing Eurofins Product Service helps our clients with cost efficient compliance strategies:

  • Collection and administration of food contact regulatory data sheets for your packaging materials from raw material suppliers
  • Evaluation of components for which specific limitations as specific migration limits or residual monomer contents apply according to European and US FDA food packaging legislation
  • Cost efficient worst case calculations to avoid unnecessary chemical analysis for specific migration testing from packaging material to food
  • Reasonable risk assessment for potential migration of chemicals from food packaging materials restricted by specific migration limits
  • Compilation of individual cost efficient test programs for your portfolio of food packaging materials

IFS 5 Compliance Strategy

 IFS compliance strategy for food packaging requirements according to IFS 5

Eurofins Product Testing experts helps food producers to fulfill requirements of IFS 5 regarding food packaging materials.

Food producers who would like to supply the big retailers in Europe can't get around the International Food Standard. In 2008 requirements for food packaging and food contact materials have been implemented for the very first time. According to this version 5 of the IFS standard food producers have to ensure that:

  • Specifications for all food packaging materials are available
  • Declarations of compliance are available for all kind of food packaging materials
  • Current test reports for all food packaging materials are on hold
  • Interactions between food packaging materials and the packaging have been evaluated especially with regards to chemical contamination like migration, taste and odour

Eurofins Product Testing helps food producers to fulfil their obligations according to the requirements of IFS 5 for food packaging materials. Especially the concept of risk assessment allows us to help you in:

  • Identifying Food Packaging Materials which may pose a high risk of migration to food
  • Understanding which types of food are more susceptible to contamination by food packaging materials than others
  • Checking available documentations for all food packaging materials regarding completeness and legal requirements
  • Compilation of test plans to minimize risk of migration of contaminants from food packaging to your products

International

Regional - US

FDA 21CFR requirements

  • Ingredients must be approved and listed in the respective FDA chapter
  • Raw material data sheets with reference to specific polymer types are obligatory
    • 176.170 for paper
    • 177.1520 for PE and PP
    • 177.1630 for PET
    • 175.105 for adhesives
    • …and more
  • Extractable study using food simulants
    • Paper and board: Water, heptane, 8% ethanol, 50% ethanol
    • Polyolefines: N-hexane and xylene
    • PET: Heptane and water
    • … and more

Additional requirements for specific States

  • E.g.: California
  • California proposition 65
  • Health and safety code (ceramic ware, enamel,…)

Global Compliance Support - Europe

Eurofins offer broad range of migration testing and consultancy on food packaging and all other kind of food contact materials

Food packaging and food packaging materials should be safe and should not transfer their components into food in unacceptable quantities. European Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 defines fundamental requirements on food packaging and other food contact materials. According to Article 3, food packaging materials shall not transfer their ingredients to food in quantities that may endanger human health, thus migration of toxicological substances must not exceed certain limits. Additionally, food packaging may not bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, what is generally understood as overall migration and food packaging may not deteriorate aroma or taste.

You can also read more about food contact material on the EU Commission webpage on food contact materials.

Framework Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004

  • Defines fundamental requirements for all types of materials and articles in contact with food regardless of the material type.

GMP regulation (EC) No. 2023/2006

  • Defines fundamental principles of Good Manufacturing Practices in FCM production.

Plastic Regulation (EC) No. 10/2011

  • Overall and specific migration limits.
  • List of approved monomers and additives, partly with restrictions and specifications.
  • Obligation to consider also substances which are not added intentionally.
  • Definition of the Declaration of Compliance in Annex IV.

Ceramic Directive 84/500/EEC

  • Defines limits of lead and cadmium release.

Regenerated Cellulose Directive 2007/42/EC

  • Besides the requirements as adopted from the plastic regulation several additional approved substances for regenerated cellulose films as surface coatings .

Regulation (EC) No. 1895/2005

  • Restriction of use of certain epoxy derivatives in materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

Council of Europe (CoE) Resolutions

  • No legal character. Examples: Metals and Alloys, Rubber, Silicone,…
  • For many non-regulated materials, only proof of safety according to Art.3 of Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004

National references (some examples)

  • Germany: LFGB
  • France: DGCCRF information notes DM-4B-COM-001/002/003/004
  • Italy: Ministerial Decree 21/03/1973, Ministerial Decree 140/2013, Ministerial Decree No. 195/2015
  • The Netherlands Commodities Act (Packaging and Consumer Articles) (Warenwet)
  • Spain (Real Decreto 847/2011) (adhesives, silicones,…)

Recommendations on voluntary basis, industry standards  (some examples)

  • Germany: BfR Recommendations
  • EuPIA guideline printing inks
  • BrC IoP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials

Global Compliance Support - China

Food safety law of the people’s Republic of China

  • Prohibits import, use or purchase of food-related products (e.g., food additive, food packaging materials) not in compliance with the applicable Chinese Food Safety Standards

Standard GB 31603-2015

  • General hygiene principles on manufacturing of food contact materials and products

Standard GB  9685-2016

  • Positive list of food contact material additives for different materials
  • List of specific migration limits and approved applications
  • All Food Contact Materials should comply with these additive requirements
  • Under general revision at the moment

Several National Standards for different types of materials and articles
… among which:

  • GB 4806.1-2016 general safety requirement
  • GB 4806.2-2015 nipple
  • GB 4806.3-2016 enamel product
  • GB 4806.4-2016 ceramic product
  • GB 4806.5-2016 glass product
  • GB 4806.6-2016 plastic resin
  • GB 4806.7-2016 plastic material and article
  • GB 4806.8-2016 paper material and article
  • GB 4806.9-2016 metal material and article
  • GB 4806.10-2016 paint and coating
  • GB 4806.11-2016 rubber material and article
  • GB 9683-88 composite laminated food packaging bag

Global Compliance Support - Japan

Japanese Food Sanitation Act. Section 3

Japan does not have a “positive list” of substances that are permitted in food contact articles, but has:

  • Standards for Materials in General
  • Specifications and Standards by Material
  • Specifications and Standards by Use
  • Standards for Manufacturing Apparatus and Containers/ Packages
  • Specifications and standards for Milk and Milk products

Example of specifications by material: Glass, ceramic, PVC, Polycarbonate, etc.

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Service scope

Specific services, beyond testing

Consultancy - Taylor-made, Cost-efficient compliance strategies

  • Regulatory expertise, surveillance and advice
  • Collection and assessment of raw material documentation from suppliers
  • Legislative newsletters
  • Trainings and seminars
  • Evaluation of components for which specific limitations as specific migration limits or residual monomer contents apply according to European and US FDA food packaging legislation
  • Cost efficient worst case calculations to avoid unnecessary testing
  • Compilation of individual cost efficient test programs for your portfolio
  • Reasonable risk assessment for potential migration of chemicals from food packaging materials restricted by specific migration limits
  • Toxicological Risk Assessment Statements
  • Troubleshooting

Document review and assessment

  • Setting up declaration of compliance
  • Marking and labelling review
  • Application processes if needed
  • Assessment of test reports
  • Assessment of compliance with national legislations

Audits & Inspections

  • Manufacturer audit
  • Factory inspection services (DUPRO, FRI, IPC)
  • Loading-unloading supervision
  • Sample picking 

Testing services for food contact materials

Overall Migration

Overall migration testing acc. to EN 1186 on food packaging made from plastic

Eurofins Product Testing offers overall migration testing according to international harmonized method for all kind of food packaging materials

Overall migration from food packaging materials is one of the fundamental requirements according to Article 3 of Framework Regulation EC (No) 1935/2004 . Overall migration covers all kind of substances which are transferred from food packaging to food irrespective of the nature and the toxicological profile of the substance. Overall migration from plastic food packaging materials is limited to 60 mg/kg according to Plastic Regulation EC (no) 10/2011.

Eurofins Product Testing offers the testing of overall migration:

  • According to the international accepted method EN 1186
  • Accredited according to ISO 17025 accreditation
  • For all kind of food packaging materials
  • Using all kind of food simulants as water, acetic acid, ethanol, iso-Octane, olive oil and Tenax®
  • Using all required exposure scenarios as immersion, filling, cell and pouch

Specific Migration

Specific migration testing acc. to EN 13130 on food packaging made from plastic

Eurofins Product Testing offers specific migration testing of a wide range of chemicals for all kind of food packaging materials

Specific migration from food packaging materials is beside the Overall migration another fundamental requirement according to Article 3 of Framework Regulation EC (No) 1935/2004. Specific migration limits respect the possible toxicology of a chemical substance migrating from food packaging to food. Specific migration limits from plastic food packaging materials vary from "not detectable" to 60 mg/kg according to Plastic Regulation EC (No) 11/2011. Substances which are restricted by a specific migration limit are for instance plasticizers, stabilizers or anti-static agents. These components limited by a specific migration limit are disclosed by the supplier on the Regulatory affairs data sheets. A Compliance test strategy can identify analytical needs or other ways to prove compliance with the respective specific migration limits.

Eurofins Product Testing offers the testing of specific migration limits of food packaging:

  • According to the international accepted method EN 13130
  • Accredited according to ISO 17025 accreditation
  • For all kind of food packaging materials
  • Using all kind of food simulants as water, acetic acid, ethanol, iso-Octane, olive oil and Tenax®
  • Using all required exposure scenarios as immersion, filling, cell and pouch

Is testing for specific migration really necessary?

We are often asked if an overall migration test is sufficient to state compliance with regulation 1935/2004/EC - and the answer to that question is no

An overall migration is a very important part of the documentation needed to prove compliance with regulation 1935/2004/EC - but it is not enough. An overall migration is basically a hygienic precaution to ensure the inertness of the product.

Regulation 1935/2004/EC article 3 states that a product for contact with foodstuff must not

1)     Endanger human health

2)     Bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food

3)     Bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics of the food

-       And this article cannot be complied with on the basis of an overall migration test.

All substances listed in Annex I of Regulation 10/2011/EC have been evaluated and approved for use in the manufacture of food contact materials made of plastic. Some of these substances may change the flavor or the odor of the food - or may have a damaging effect on human health when released to the food. Therefore these substances are restricted by specific migration limits - and a specific migration test is thus a health related / organoleptic related precaution. When a product contains one or more of these substances it must be documented that the limits are complied with. This can be done either by worst case calculations or by testing.

If a manufacturer/importer can obtain sufficient information on the amounts of the substances restricted by specific migration limits from his supplier - he may be able to argue that the limits will not be exceeded even if 100% of the substances migrate. In these cases  tests will not be necessary. If it is not possible to retrieve sufficient information to make such  worst case calculations - or if the calculations show that the limits will be exceeded if all of the substances migrate -  specific migration tests must be conducted. Only by documenting that the specific migration limits in a product are complied with, it can be claimed that the product will not endanger human health and will not bring about a deterioration of the organoleptic characteristics of the food.

For further detailed information, contact our product experts

Residual Monomer Testing

Residual monomer testing on food packaging materials

Eurofins Product Testing offers residual monomer testing of a wide range of chemicals for all kind of food packaging materials

Residual monomers in food packaging materials are beside the overall migration and the specific migration fundamental requirement according to the Framework Regulation EC (No) 1935/2004. Residual monomer levels respect the possible toxicology of a chemical substance migrating from food packaging to food. Limits for residual monomers in plastic food packaging materials are fixed in Plastic Regulation EC (No) 11/2011. Substances which are restricted by a residual concentrations are in general monomers of plastics as acrylonitrile or Butadien. These components limited by a residual monomer content are disclosed by the supplier on the Regulatory affairs data sheets. A compliance test strategy can identify analytical needs or other ways to prove compliance with the respective specific migration limits.

Eurofins Product Testing offers the testing of residual monomer concentrations in food packaging:

  • According to the international accepted method EN 13130
  • Accredited according to ISO 17025 accreditation
  • For all kind of food packaging materials

Paper and Board Packaging Materials

EurofinsProduct Testing helps you in understanding requirements on food packaging materials made from paper and board

Food packaging materials made from paper and board are not covered by a harmonized European legislation today. Nevertheless also such food contact materials are covered by the scope of the Framework Regulation EC (No) 1935/2004 and have to fulfil the requirements of Article 3. A range of food scandals in the last years were caused by contaminations induced by migration from food packaging made from paper and board. To prove suitability of materials and articles made from paper and board which are intended to be brought into contact with food with the requirement of the Framework Regulation other measures have to be used:

  • German Institute on Risk Assessment (BfR) Recommendations XXXVI on Paper and Board for Food Contact
  • Council of Europe Resolution 2002 (1) on Paper and Board materials and articles intended to come into contact with food
  • Industry Guideline for the Compliance of Paper & Board Materials and Articles for Food Contact

Following the requirements of these guidelines Eurofins Product Testing develops test protocols which are tailored to your packaging - food systems. Most important parameters which causes food scares in the past were

  • Phthalate - Plasticizers from glues and inks
  • Photoinitiators as ITX or Benzophenones from inks
  • DEHM from glues
  • DIPN from carbon copy papers
  • Mineral oils from recycled fibres

Compliance Testing

  • Overall migration and specific migration tests
  • NIAS (Non Intentionally Added Substances) screening
  • Release of metals
  • Extractable and leachable substances
  • Screening of pesticides
  • Metal composition
  • Volatile Organic Matter (VOM), Peroxides
  • Density, melting point
  • Microbiological tests and studies
  • Sensory testing (smell, taste and optical appearance) and color fastness
  • Ecotoxicity & biodegradability
  • … and more

Performance testing

  • Dishwasher resistance
  • Microwave safe
  • Heat stability and heat diffusion speed
  • Handle fatigue resistance
  • Anti-adherence test
  • Consumer tests & sensorial analysis
  • Use tests / Fitness for use

Environmental

Specific performance

  • Temperature & humidity
  • Corrosion resistance (Salt spray)
  • UV ageing
  • … and more

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