On December 2-5, 2014 experts from industry, regulatory agencies, public interest groups and consultants met in Munich, Germany at the “Plastics and Paper in Contact with Foodstuffs” conference. The aim of the conference, hosted annually by the consulting firm Smithers Pira, was to discuss the latest regulatory and scientific developments in the plastic and paper packaging areas. Speakers addressed regulatory updates in Europe, the U.S., Japan, China and the Middle East. Presentations further covered the newest research in the area of chemical migration from food contact materials (FCMs). Among others, new migration studies focusing on nanoparticles (NPs) in food contact plastics were presented by Roland Franz of the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (IVV), Germany. Franz showed that migration of titanium nitride (TiN) NPs from low density polyethylene (LDPE), the worst case food contact polymer, was not detectable under severe test conditions. He thus concluded that consumer exposure to TiN NPs via migration from food contact plastics is not expected, but the effects of mechanical stress should be explored in the future. The aspect of dietary consumer exposure was covered by Laurence Castle of the Food and Environment Research Agency, UK. Castle discussed the use of the FACET exposure tool (previously reported on in a background article by the FPF) with respect to paper and board. In his talk, he encouraged more members of the paper and board community to become FACET users. The FPF took part in the meeting presenting a scientific review of the threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) concept.
Smithers Pira (2014). “Plastics & Paper in Contact with Foodstuffs 2014.”