On July 1, 2015 the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) published a feature article by journalist Nate Seltenrich entitled “A hard nut to crack: reducing chemical migration in food-contact materials”. The article reviews current issues around specific chemicals migrating into food, the scientific debates associated with some of the compounds, and speaks with experts about solutions and replacements for chemicals of concern, for example bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7).

Seltenrich writes that many challenges stand in the way of developing practical solutions to chemical migration from food contact materials (FCMs), even though public awareness for the issue is rising. According to Prof. Joseph Hotchkiss, Michigan State University, U.S., health concerns are driving packaging innovation and will continue to do so. Packaging perceived as safe by consumers has the potential to “be rewarded in the marketplace”, Hotchkiss states.

Further, Seltenrich discusses how large food producer Nestlé manages FCM safety, and reports about coatings manufacturer Valspar’s efforts to find a BPA replacement for food can linings. He also shares green chemist John Warner’s expert opinion that inherently safe plastics still need to be developed.

Read more

Seltenrich, N. (2015). “A hard nut to crack: reducing chemical migration in food-contact materials.Environmental Health Perspectives (published July 1, 2015).