In the article “Use of nanoclay platelets in food packaging materials: technical and cytotoxicity approach” published on February 19, 2014 in the peer-reviewed journal Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, Jorda-Beneyto from the Packaging, Transport and Logistics Research Institute in Valencia, Spain, and colleagues from two further European institutes assessed the physical properties of nanoclay reinforced polyactic acid (PLA) plastic bottles and analyzed their toxicity in in vitro cell line experiments. The promising biodegradable and compostable bio-plastic PLA is used for food contact materials (FCM) like trays and bottles. In order to enhance physical properties like thermal stability, flammability, and water and gas permeability of PLA, organo-modified nanoclays are added. Hexadecyltrimethyl-ammonium bromide (HDTA) and acetylcholine (ACO) are hydrophobic cations integrated in the clay for better adhesion to the plastic matrix, in order to enhance material properties. The researchers confirmed the beneficial material properties by addition of nanoclay, however, the toxicological assessment does not yet permit any conclusions on the risk of nanoclay platlets to human health.

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FPF report “Analysis of properties of nanoclay platelets in FCM”