On November 5, 2013 an article by Maurus Biedermann and colleagues from the Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zürich, Switzerland, and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) on effect of electron beam treatment of polypropylene used for food packaging was published online in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Polymer Degradation and Stability. The authors compared patterns of migrating chemicals extracted from polypropylene (PP) films containing different additives with and without irradiation by electron beam (EB) at two levels of energy. Food packaging is commonly treated with EB for disinfection and the aim of this study was to elucidate if the treatment affects chemical migration. The method presented consists of a two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time of flight (TOF) and flame ionization detection. According to the authors the method is an easily manageable analytic tool with high resolution and excelling in graphical comparability of results. The researchers found numerous migrating chemicals at levels above regulatory thresholds in commercial and experimental samples of PP film. The study thus indicates a potential safety concern for EB treated packaged foods.

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New FPF report “New method to evaluate effects of electron beam treatment of PP films