EFSA approval for food contact materials

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food contact Polymer Food safety European food safety authority

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has given food contact approval for two new substances, both from Japanese companies, to be used in plastic packaging.

The food safety watchdog gave the green light for the use of the monomers 3,4-diacetoxy-1-butene and 3-methyl-1,5-pentanediol in Europe following requests from the UK and the Netherlands for an assessment. Before any substance is authorised as a food contact material it must be evaluated by EFSA for inclusion on the positive list under regulation EC 1935/2004.


The UK Food Standards Agency asked EFSA to evaluate 3,4-diacetoxy-1-butene after being petitioned by lawyers acting on behalf of Japanese manufacturers Nippon Goshei.

EFSA’s CEF panel concluded there were no safety concerns for consumers if the substance was used as a comonomer for the manufacture Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH) and that its migration did not exceed 0.05mg/kg food.

EVOH is a plastic resin is primarily used as an oxygen barrier to improve food packaging shelf life. It is typically coextruded or laminated as a thin layer between cardboard, foil, or other plastics.

“The substance is authorised as a monomer for use in the manufacture of food contact plastics where it will be used in a co-polymer with other authorised monomeric substances to form mono and multi-layer plastic materials,”​ a FSA spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.com

Sealing gaskets

EFSA also approved the monomer 3-methyl-1,5-pentanediol with a CAS number 4457-71-0 and a REF. No. 22074 after a request from the Dutch Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport.

The substance can be used as a comonomer for the production of polyurethane sealing gaskets for metal closures intended to be in contact with all types of foodstuffs packed in glass jars and bottles.

“The Panel concluded that the use of the substance does not pose a risk to human health provided that the migration of the substance into the food does not exceed 0.05 mg/kg food,”​ said an EFSA statement. “The substance should be used in materials in contact with food at a surface to mass ratio up to 0.5 dm²/kg (e.g. sealing gaskets).”

The dossier was submitted by Japan Crown Cork Co. Ltd.

Related topics Processing & packaging

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