The article “Multi-analyte methods for the detection of photoinitiators and amine synergists in food contact materials and foodstuffs – Part II: UHPLC-MS/MS analysis of materials and dry foods” published on January 14, 2014 in the peer-reviewed journal Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A reports on a new and efficient method for the analysis of additives of printing inks and varnishes on food contact materials and in dry food matrices. The study authors, Teelke Jung from the Food control authority CVUA in Stuttgart and Thomas Simat from the Technical University in Dresden, both in Germany, present a newly developed multi-substance method that quantifies 49 additives concurrently at the very low, legally relevant level of 10 ppb (10 µg kg-1) within only 11.5 minutes. The method is based on liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Photoinitiators and amine synergists are ingredients of printing inks and coatings which trigger polymerization processes leading to the curing of dyes and coated surfaces following induction by ultra-violet, visible and near infra-red light. While this type of curing is considered to be more environmental friendly as it substitutes organic solvents, it is also an additional source of chemicals migrating into foodstuffs, thereby potentially endangering human health. For the time being printing ink components are only regulated explicitly in Switzerland. The authors understand their method as being particularly interesting for official laboratories’ screening for chemicals in unknown mixtures, present in foods and food contact materials. The new method can also be used to assess migration into food simulants, like ethanol or Tenax®.

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FPF report “New method analyzes ink additives”