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Collation and review of information on the use of unusual and non-traditional types of wood used as food contact materials
Project Code: A03024/25
Leatherhead Food International
Offen, C ;
The purpose of this project was to review and collate information on the present day uses of wood for food contact materials and articles in the UK. Work has been undertaken to assess the potential for chemical migration by surveying the extent to which wood is used in contact with food and has included an analytical screen of woods used in food contact situations. The first part of the study consisted of an intelligence gathering exercise on the species of wood used in direct contact with food. It addressed, in particular those items derived from non-traditional or exotic type woods. Information was obtained at Leatherhead Food Research Association (LFRA) and TRADA, using databases and published research papers, articles and other technical information. A market survey was conducted to identify the use of unusual wood in the industrial/retail sector. This was undertaken with the aid of questionnaires, one distributed to manufacturers (e.g. equipment supply companies, kitchen utensil association) and distributors (e.g. catering equipment distributors, buyers) and the other to end-users (e.g. restaurants, hotels, fast food outlets, catering consultants and department stores).
The domestic survey indicated that there was general confusion about whether wood was safe as a material for chopping/cutting boards or how to clean them effectively, although the majority applied common-sense hygiene rules for cleaning. Many of the more exotic items were gifts from holiday. In most cases there was little or no labelling information relating to the type of wood, properties or how to use and care for wooden items intended for use with food.
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