On July 13, 2018, the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) published two scientific opinions evaluating safety of the processes “Gneuss 1” and “Gneuss 2” used to recycle post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for food contact.
Both processes work with PET flakes “originating from collected post-consumer PET containers, containing no more than 5% of PET from non-food applications,” which are “extruded under vacuum into pellets or sheets.” The critical step for the decontamination efficiency of both processes is the “decontamination in the extruder under vacuum degassing.” The performance of this step is in turn dependent on “temperature, pressure, residence time, throughput rate, rotor speed and satellite screws speed.” Both processes are “able to ensure that the level of migration of potential unknown contaminants into food is below a conservatively modelled migration of 0.1 µg/kg food.”
Therefore, CEF concluded that the recycled PET obtained from these processes “is not considered of safety concern” when used to manufacture articles made with up to either 100% (Gneuss 1) or 90% (Gneuss 2) recycled PET and “intended for contact for long-term storage at room temperature with all types of foodstuffs.” For both processes, trays made of this recycled PET “are not intended to be used, and should not be used, in microwave and conventional ovens.”
EFSA CEF (July 13, 2018). “Safety assessment of the process ‘Gneuss 1’, based on Gneuss technology, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials.” EFSA Journal 16(7):e05324.
EFSA CEF (July 13, 2018). “Safety assessment of the process ‘Gneuss 2’, based on Gneuss technology, used to recycled post-consumer PET into food contact materials.” EFSA Journal 16(7):e05325.