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Chemical Migration from Adhesives Used in Food Contact Materials and Articles

Castle, Laurence
Central Science Laboratory
Start date
End date
The adhesive systems selected for investigation were those for which there were limited information on the potential for migration available in the scientific literature. These were:

Seals used on plastic lidding on products such as ready-meals Adhesives used to attach sticky labels to thin layers of film (pressure sensitive adhesives) Seals used on sachets/pouches/side-seams on products such as single sauce portions and paper cups Adhesives used to attach meat pads onto trays. Identities of chemical substances detected in solvent extracts of these systems were proposed and worst case migration potentials and resulting exposure values were calculated.

Migration studies were undertaken on those systems found to have substances with the potential to exceed any Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) / Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) or other established exposure restriction values.

More information
Adhesives are constituents of a variety of food packaging materials. Applications include:

The manufacture of rigid packs from cartonboard (box closures) Sealing flexible packaging - wrappers, pouches, lidding etc Attachment of labels Lamination (binding together) of layers of food contact materials Several chemical substances are present in adhesives and, when used in food packaging, these substances may have the potential to transfer (migrate) from the adhesive(s) to the foodstuffs.

The objective of this project was to assess if there was any chemical migration from selected adhesive systems.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Sanitation and Quality Standards