Migration contaminants released from food packages

Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 requires that packaging materials and articles that are brought into contact with food must not transfer any components to the packed food in quantities that could endanger human health, or bring about an unacceptable deterioration in the organoleptic properties of the food.
Since the autumn of 2005, when the photoinitiator isopropylthioxanthone (ITX) was found in baby food in concentrations up to 450 µg/kg, both food monitoring authorities and consumers have been aware of this problem. Contaminated products were confiscated or had to be withdrawn from the market.
Components of printing inks used for food packaging, which until then were not considered, came into the public's field of vision. A maximum migration limit of 10 µg/kg (10 ppb) was established for all substances having a molecular mass below 1000 Da and for which adequate toxicological data is not available.
Depending on the printing process, components of the inks, particularly photoinitiators and acrylate monomers, can migrate into the contents by set-off or diffusion processes.
Manufacturers of both printing inks and food packaging are obliged to examine the migration potential of their products.
Manufactures of pharmaceutical products have to ensure that no hazardous substances migrate from the primary packaging into the pharmaceutical product. Therefore, pharmaceutical packaging has to be tested for so-called "extractables and leachables". This test starts with extraction of packaging under extreme conditions and the analysis of the resulting "extractables". After this controlled extraction, the "leachable" study in the pharmaceutical formulation begins, using specific analytical methodology.
We are an experienced supplier of such studies. We design migration studies with realistic conditions using standardised migration cells and in consideration of the corresponding legislation. Using sophisticated hyphenated analytical methods (GC-MS, LC-MS, LC-MS-MS and LC-TOF) we are able to quantify all relevant substances with unsurpassed selectivity and sensitivity.
Currently, we have assays for more than 60 ink ingredients whose specific migrations we can determine.

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