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Wood is still becoming more commonly used as a material for food contact. Besides cutting boards and other kitchen utensils, wood is also used for disposable kitchenware as well as packaging.
Like all other materials and articles intended to come into contact with food, wooden products must comply with the criteria set in regulation 1935/2004/EC.
There is no existing harmonised EU regulation on the use of wood for food contact. However, the Netherlands Commodities Act (Warenwet) on packaging and consumer articles Chapter IX as well as the French Note d´information no. 2012-93 have set up some requirements for wooden food contact materials.
An important aspect is to always clarify whether the wood product has been surface treated with oil, coating, wax or other surface treatments and whether glue has been used. If this is the case, the manufacturer should also ensure that the product complies with the requirements for the materials used for this surface treatment or gluing.
Typical parameters to ensure for a new wooden product for food contact are:
- The content of Pentachlorophenol (PCP) should not exceed 0.15 mg/kg.
- There is no release of antimicrobial substances from the product.
- The release of heavy metals should not exceed the limit values as described in the Industry Guideline for the Compliance of Paper & Board Materials and Articles for Food Contact.
- The product should not release organotin at a level above 0.05 mg/kg.
- The product should not release formaldehyde above the limit value of 15 mg/kg.
- The product has not been fumigated.
- Pesticides have not been used when growing the trees.
As wooden products for food contact may be very diverse, Eurofins' technical experts assess each product individually and create the test program based on the chemicals used to manufacture the final product.