In an article published on April 27, 2015 by the news provider Food Production Daily (FPD), journalist Jenny Eagle reports about new barrier films designed to prevent migration of mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) from food contact materials (FCMs) into food. Mineral oils are commonly used as printing ink solvents and can diffuse into foodstuffs when they migrate from paperboard food packaging. Contamination of food by mineral oils presents a health risk, as they may cause inflammation of internal organs, including the liver, spleen and lymph nodes. The films have been developed by the Germany-based company Clondalkin Flexible Packaging Wentus. The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) recommends that migration of MOSH should not exceed 2 mg/kg and MOAH levels should be no higher than 0.5 mg/kg. Clondalkin claims that the new films offer protection far greater than this, with typical values less than 0.2 mg/kg for both. Eagle is, however, raising the question whether development of such films is maybe just a short-term solution to the MOSH and MOAH migration issue. Jane Muncke, managing director of the Food Packaging Forum, explained to the FPD that in the mid- to long-term, the goal should be to avoid problematic chemicals in printing inks in general, so that paperboard can be recycled without concerns about hazardous chemicals in accordance with our society’s goal of a circular economy.
Jenny Eagle (April 27, 2015). “Clondalkin creates packaging to stop migration of mineral oil – but is it enough?” Food Production Daily