EFSA approves active substances for food contact materials

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food contact materials, Oxygen

Active substances backed for use in food contact materials
Active substances backed for use in food contact materials
A number of active substances designed for different applications in food contact materials have been backed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) evaluated a type of liquid absorber, and oxygen and carbon dioxide generators and all posed no risks as long as they were used under certain conditions.

In the three separate applications from companies based in the UK and Germany, end uses included meat, poultry, vegetables and fresh fruit food contact materials.

Liquid absorber

The panel dealt with the safety evaluation of the acrylic acid, sodium salt, co-polymer with acrylic acid, methyl ester, methacrylic acid, 2 hydroxypropylester, and acrylic acid cross-linked request.

It will be used as a liquid absorber in the form of fibres in absorbent pads for the packaging of fresh or frozen meat, poultry, and fish as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Acrylic acid and acrylic acid, methyl ester are authorised as monomers for plastic materials and articles in contact with food (Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011) with a group SML of 6mg/kg food, expressed as acrylic acid.

Methacrylic acid, 2-hydroxypropyl ester EFSA has been evaluated by the EFSA CEF Panel for use as monomer in acrylic resin coatings for food cans.

They concluded that it does not pose a safety concern under conditions under which the absorption capacity of the pad is not exceeded and mechanical release of the fibres from the pads is excluded.

The scientific opinion follows requests from the UK Food Standards Agency and Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Germany.

The application dossiers were submitted to the Member State Authorities by Technical Absorbents UK and by McAirlaid’s Vliesstoffe GmbH & Co.   

Oxygen generator evaluation

The panel also evaluated the safety of the powder mixture of the active substances sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate coated with sodium carbonate and sodium silicate, bentonite, sodium chloride, sodium carbonate.

It is intended to be used as combined oxygen generator and carbon dioxide absorber in packaging containing whole fresh fruits.

Based on the conclusion in the EU Risk Assessment Report that hydrogen peroxide is not classified as a mutagen and results from a subchronic toxicity study with hydrogen peroxide, the panel concluded that hydrogen peroxide does not raise a safety concern under the intended conditions of use.

“The substances should be used in sachets which prevent the release of the powder mixture into the food. Sachets should not be in direct contact with food or food exudates​,” clarified the panel.

The document, submitted by UK-based EMCO Packaging Systems, involves the powder mixture being placed in a nonwoven polyethylene sachet separated from the food by a pad.

Carbon dioxide generator backed

The mixture of the active substances citric acid (E330, and sodium hydrogen carbonate (E500ii, was also evaluated.

It is intended to be used as a carbon dioxide generator in liquid absorbent pads in the packaging of fresh or frozen meat, poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables.

The panel noted that if the active substances are not in direct contact with food, but are placed in a pad under conditions where its absorption capacity is not exceeded, then no migration is expected and no exposure from the consumption of the packed food is expected.

It was a request from the Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL), Germany in the application on behalf of McAirlaid’s Vliesstoffe GmbH & Co.

EFSA said it has already evaluated the polyacrylic acid sodium salt crosslinked used in the application and pads composed of 100% cellulose do not fall under the definition of active materials and articles of the Commission Regulation (EC) No 450/2009.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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