In an article published on March 13, 2015 by the industry news provider Food Production Daily, journalist Jenny Eagle reports on a new study investigating food packaging that can be reheated in conventional ovens, microwave ovens or by steam. The study was conducted by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) in collaboration with the French National Consumer Institute. Tests were carried out on different types of food contact materials (FCMs), including food bags for use in conventional or microwave ovens, bags for steaming or microwave ovens, and trays. The results show that chemical migration from FCMs into the food is generally low. However, migration can increase significantly in the case of non-compliance with instructions for reheating. Polypropylene (PP) was the most commonly used polymer. PP food trays designed for use in either conventional or microwave ovens were tested under the following conditions: (i) ambient temperature, (ii) heating in the microwave following the manufacturer’s recommendations, and (iii) extreme heating. Polyolefin oligomeric saturated hydrocarbons (POSHs) were detected in several samples kept at ambient temperature. The level of POSH increased upon reheating, and particularly in the case of extreme reheating. Therefore, to limit potential risks resulting from substance migration into the food, ANSES recommends carefully following the manufacturers’ instructions for reheating indicated on the packaging. ANSES’s consumer advice also includes other tips such as to avoid reusing disposable containers for microwaving or to use long reheating times but at low power.
Jenny Eagle (March 13, 2015). “ANSES: Reheating food packaging at exceedingly high temperatures increases the risk of substance migration.” Food Production Daily
ANSES (February 25, 2015). “Food packaging: reheating at exceedingly high temperatures increases the risk of substance migration.”