In a newly published peer-reviewed study in the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, Spanish researchers investigated the migration behavior of the antimicrobial compound ethyl lauroyl arginate (LAE, CAS # 60372-77-2) from an LAE-based antimicrobial active food packaging material (Aznar et al. 2013). The intended migration of LAE from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into watery and fatty food simulants, as well as into chicken breast meat, was studied and confirmed. In addition, other migrants, such as non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) were investigated. The total migrate contained 7 compounds, with two from unknown origin and two identified as impurities of LAE. When migration into chicken was assessed, LAE and two other substances were identified (including one NIAS).

Further, the study’s authors also investigated the fate of packaging migrants into chicken meat after simulated gastrointestinal digestion. No differences between packaged and unpackaged meat was observed. The authors conclude that “with the methodology used no differences were found between the bioaccessible fraction of migration and control samples which could be attributable to the active material.” Therefore, none of the observed migrants is assumed to be taken up into the body via ingestion of food.

In Europe, LAE is already used as food preservative for various types of foods (EFSA opinion 2007) but is currently not authorized as additive for food contact plastics in Europe. In the US, LAE is marketed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) substance (FDA GRAS notice 2005).


Aznar, M., et al. “Migrants determination and bioaccessibility study of ethyl lauroyl arginate (LAE) from a LAE based antimicrobial food packaging material.Food and Chemical Toxicology (published online March 1, 2013).