On June 30, 2020, the Food Packaging Forum held a webinar featuring a presentation by Alan Bergmann from the Swiss Centre for Applied Ecotoxicology titled “Sensitive detection of toxic chemicals in food packaging with HPTLC-bioassays” including their recent study investigating the use of bioassays to test food contact materials (FCMs). Understanding migration of chemicals from FCMs is important for assessing human health risks, but it is challenged by the presence of non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) that are often unknown and highly challenging to identify. Using an effect-directed analysis approach with high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC), chemical identification is focused on those substances that are of concern because they have certain hazard properties.
In the recent study, the endocrine disrupting hazard property of estrogenicity was assessed for 20 chemicals representative of migrants from plastic FCMs, and three migrates of coated metal food cans. Using the novel planar yeast estrogen screen (P-YES), the team found this approach to be promising for analyzing complex mixtures of estrogenic chemicals that can migrate from FCMs with greater sensitivity than a standard method. Their current work extends to genotoxicity and the identification of toxic chemicals with high resolution mass spectrometry.
Bergmann, A. et al. (May 26, 2020). “Estrogenic activity of food contact materials—evaluation of 20 chemicals using a yeast estrogen screen on HPTLC or 96-well plates.” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry