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Four-year survey programme on migration of chemicals into foods
Project Code: A04016
The Food Standards Agency has an on-going 4 year rolling programme of surveys on migrants from food contact materials and articles. To date work undertaken in this series includes:
- Year 1: Migration of formaldehyde and hexamethylenetetramine, expressed as formaldehyde, from melamine-ware (Food Survey Information Sheet (FSIS) 04/08): As the first part of a four-year rolling programme of surveys on migration from food contact materials and articles, this new follow-on survey on melamine-ware was commissioned to ascertain whether the UK market is now free from such non-compliant products. Fifty samples have been tested using the analytical method described in FSIS 55/04 to see whether the Total Specific Migration Limit (SML (T)) for formaldehyde, and HMTA expressed as formaldehyde, is being observed. This SML (T) is given in European Commission Directive 2002/72/EC as amended. In response to the findings of the 2004 survey, samples from the Far East were targeted.
- Year 2: Migration of primary aromatic amines from nylon kitchen utensils (FSIS 01/10): In total, 107 nylon kitchen utensils were tested for PAA migration to see whether they comply with the rules in the fourth amendment to Commission Directive 2002/72/EC. The directive states that the release of PAAs from plastic materials and articles should not be detected into food or food simulant. The analytical method used should have a limit of detection of PAA of 10 parts per billion (ppb) (i.e. 10 micrograms/kilogram (µg/kg)) is equivalent to a detection limit of 1.7 micrograms/decimetre squared (µg/dm2).Migration was detected from 35 of the 107 samples tested. 25 of these were produced in China, one in India and the remaining nine were of unknown origin.
- Year 3: Measurement of aluminium and other metal concentrations in foods packaged in aluminium-containing materials or articles: A Food Standards Agency survey measured the concentration of aluminium in various foods packaged in materials containing aluminium. Of the 225 foodstuffs sampled, 25 with known aluminium levels were further tested for their migration profile. A number of ways were used to obtain the profile, depending upon the food’s exposure to the aluminium packaging. Where the food was wrapped in aluminium foil concentric layers were shaved off the food, while horizontal layers were taken sequentially away from the aluminium packaging component in other cases. The layers were then separately homogenised and were analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). For the majority of the samples tested, there was no apparent aluminium concentration profile.Differences in the composition of the components of some foodstuffs made comparisons of some profiles difficult, as any differences found were probably due to inhomogeneity within the samples.Higher aluminium levels were found for foods cooked in-pack, but this may have been due to concentration effects following water loss.
- A profiling report for Year 3 is attached.
- Year 4: Migration of selected ink components from printed packaging materials into foodstuffs: The fourth survey in this programme looked at whether there was any migration of components from printing inks used on carton-board packaging into food. Eighty four* of the 350 samples tested contained one or more of the selected ink components. Benzophenone (a photoinitiator) was detected in 37 (11%) of the samples. There was a reduction in the number of samples containing benzophenone compared to the FSA survey carried out in 2006. Other samples contained mixtures of one or more of 1-hydroxycyclohexyl phenyl ketone, ethyl-4-dimethylaminobenzoate, 2,2-dimethoxy-2-phenylacetophenone, methyl-2-benzoylbenzoate, 2-ethylhexyl-4-dimethylaminobenzoate and 4-phenylbenzophenone. Some of the packaging materials contained mineral oils and the levels found were similar to those reported in previous published literature. MOSH (mineral oils saturated hydrocarbons) was detected in all 51 samples tested. Concentrations of MOAH (mineral oils aromatic hydrocarbons) exceeded the limit of detection in 17 of the 51 samples tested. [*Figure amended 15 December 2011]
The contractor for the programme is Fera (The Food and Environment Research Agency)
The Food Survey Information Sheets for Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 can be found at:
Year 1: Formaldehyde from melamine-ware : http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/fsis0408.pdf
Year 2: Amines from utensils: http://www.food.gov.uk/science/surveillance/fsisbranch2010/fsis0110
Year 3: Measurement of aluminium and other metal concentrations in foods packaged in aluminium-containing materials or articles: http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/surveillance/fdsurvey_2013/aluminium-packaged-food/
Year 4: Survey of printing inks and mineral oils: http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/surveillance/fsisbranch2011/minoils
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