On February 13, 2013 EFSA published a scientific opinion approving the use of the liquid absorber polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, crosslinked for use in absorbent pads of freshly packaged meat, fish and poultry. The CEF panel thereby responded to requests of ASF SE and McAirlaid’s Vliesstoffe GmbH&Co KG, which had been forwarded by the German Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). In accordance with Regulation EC/450/2009 EFSA is required to approve active and intelligent food contact materials in food packaging materials before their inclusion in a positive Community list.

In the scientific opinion EFSA concluded that polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, crosslinked is not expected to migrate into the food if incorporated in the inner layer of the absorbent pad due to the polymer’s high liquid absorption ability. Further, EFSA states that polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, crosslinked is not volatile and will therefore not migrate via the vapor phase. No migration tests were carried out. The non-crosslinked polymer is authorized as a food additive.


EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF). “Scientific Opinion on the safety evaluation of the active substance, polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, crosslinked, for use in active food contact materials.” EFSA Journal 2013;11(2):3096 [10 pp.].  

European Commission (2009). Commission Regulation 2009 of 29 May 2009 on active and intelligent materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (EC) No 450/2009.