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Identification of Stages in the Production of Paper and Board Packaging Materials where Chemical Hazards to Food Safety May Occur

Institutions
Central Science Laboratory
Start date
1996
End date
2003
Objective
It was the intention of this project to gather basic information on the usage of chemicals in the manufacture of paper and board materials intended for food packaging applications. This information was to be coupled with processing conditions that could affect the fate of these chemicals, including their stability and solubility in process water. From the information received suggestions as to the best way to regulate paper and board were to be made.
More information
The Council of Europe (CoE) Resolution on paper and board intended to come into contact with food, attempts an exhaustive listing of substances used along with certain purity requirements, extraction limits or specific migration limits. Possible contaminants (as opposed to known additives) are also listed. This draft list contains a large number (more than 200) of substances for which toxicological assessments have been made but an even larger number (more than 500) of substances which have not yet been fully evaluated. It seems certain that this list will continue to grow.

This CoE inventory list basically takes the Plastics Directive 2002/72/EC as its model. It is not clear however that a positive list approach is the best way to control the potential for migration from paper and board food packaging materials.

The purpose of this project was to investigate where in the papermaking process, chemical substances are added or where contaminant risks arise. The objective was to identify those chemicals that might reasonably be expected to remain in the finished product and hence transfer to packaged food. If substances are not carried through to the final packaging then legislation making use of a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) approach with only limited migration testing might be appropriate. If papermaking chemicals and contaminants do have the possibility of being present in the finished materials, the full application of restrictive legislation could be justified.

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
A03006
Categories
Legislation and Regulations
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins