On July 15, 2016 the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavorings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) published two scientific opinions on the safety assessment of polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, cross-linked, and 2,4,4′-trifluorobenzophenone, respectively, for use in food contact materials.
Active substance polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, cross-linked, is intended to be used as a liquid absorber in the packaging of fresh or frozen foods such as meat, poultry, and seafood, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. The CEF Panel does not expect migration and exposure from consumption of packed food, if the substance is used not in direct contact with food and placed in a pad under conditions where its absorption capacity is not exceeded. Further, the CEF Panel considers the non-cross-linked polymer and the cross-linkers of no concern regarding genotoxicity. Therefore, the CEF Panel concluded that the use of the substance is safe when used in absorbent pads in the packaging of fresh or frozen foods, given that the absorbent pads are used only under conditions where the absorption capacity of the active substance is not exceeded and the substance is not in direct contact with food.
2,4,4′-trifluorobenzophenone (TFB, CAS 80512-44-3) is intended for use as a co-monomer to manufacture polyether ether ketone (PEEK) plastics. The final PEEK plastics are intended for repeated use in contact with all types of foods for short-term duration, including at high temperatures. According to migration tests, TFB was not detected in food simulants using a method with a low (but undisclosed) limit of detection. Also, no TFB-related impurities, oligomers, or reaction products were detected. Based on genotoxicity tests, TFB was considered not to raise a concern regarding genotoxicity. Further, no oligomeric fraction below 1,000 Da was found in PEEK samples made with and without TFB. Therefore, the CEF Panel concluded that TFB is safe for consumers if used as co-monomer (up to an undisclosed concentration) in the manufacture of PEEK plastics.