The closing conference of the EU project on Safety in Use and Emerging Technologies in Food Packaging (SAFEMTECH) took place on February 19, 2015 in Zaragoza, Spain. The project was a collaborative effort between the Italian packaging manufacturer Goglio and the University of Zaragoza, Spain (UNIZAR). The conference started with an introductory session led by representatives of both project partners, Osvaldo Bosetti of Goglio and Cristina Nerin from UNIZAR. Nerin reminded the conference participants that the major goals of the project were: (i) to study adhesives formulations to improve their safety in use in food packaging, and (ii) to develop active and intelligent packaging. Nerin also highlighted that the project results have been summarized in eight peer-reviewed publications (five already published). The introduction was followed by a series of seven presentations. Project results discussed were for instance how ethyl vinyl alcohol polymers (EvOH) can be used as an effective functional barrier to protect against migration of non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) from adhesives or how the application of external lacquer coating can reduce migration of ink components from multilayer materials into food. Further, Mauro Fedeli from Goglio introduced a newly developed antioxidant packaging material, which is now available on the market. Asunción Martín Allueva, the R&D director at the Spanish confectionery company Lacasa S.A., spoke about how the company successfully used this new packaging to extend the shelf-life of chocolate-covered peanuts and crispy cereal balls. In addition, Eddo Hoekstra of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) provided a summary of the current regulatory situation of food contact materials (FCMs) in the EU and highlighted the activities of JRC in the area of FCM safety.

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SAFEMTECH closing conference program

Peer-reviewed publications from the SAFEMTECH project

Pezo, D. et al. (2012). “Aromatic amines from polyurethane adhesives in food packaging: The challenge of identification and pattern recognition using Quadrupole-Time of Flight-Mass SpectrometryE.Analytica Chimica Acta 756, 49–59.

Félix, J.S. et al. (2012). “Analytical tools for identification of non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) coming from polyurethane adhesives in multilayer packaging materials and their migration into food simulants.” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 403, 2869–2882.

Isella, F. et al. (2013). “Migration of non intentionally added substances from adhesives by UPLC-Q-TOF/MS and the role of EVOH to avoid migration in multilayer packaging materials.Journal of Mass Spectrometry 48, 430–437.

Carrizo, D. et al. (2014). “Development of an active food packaging system with antioxidant properties based on green tea extract.Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A 31, 364–373.

Aznar, M. et al. (2015). “Set-off of non volatile compounds from printing inks in food packaging materials and the role of lacquers to avoid migration.Dyes and Pigments 114, 85–92. (FPF reported)