Biocides are used on the surface of, or integrated into, food contact materials (FCMs). They help with reducing food spoilage and food-borne illnesses. This dossier summarizes the applications, benefits, and risks of biocides used in FCMs and explains U.S. and EU regulations.
Biobased polymers and biodegradable plastics are both referred to as bioplastics. In contrast to non-degradable petrol-based plastics, materials such as starch-based polymers and polylactides are biobased and compostable under controlled conditions. Types, applications, toxicity and regulation of biobased polymers and biodegradable plastic used in food contact materials are summarized in the dossier.
Bisphenol A (BPA) finds broad application in epoxy coatings and polycarbonates. Both materials are commonly used in food contact materials. The dossier provides background information about the application, toxicity and regulation of BPA. Furthermore, it includes a short summary of the most debated issues in the research on BPA.
Bisphenol S (BPS) is used as a substitute for bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact materials. The dossier provides information on applications, toxicity, exposure and regulation of BPS and discusses its role as possible substitute for BPA.
Metal cans are coated to protect the cans from degrading due to chemical reactions with the food. Coatings also prevent unwanted chemical interactions in the food, caused by migrating metal ions. In this dossier, we provide information on different types of can coatings for direct food contact. Further, the toxicity and exposure assessment of chemicals migrating from can coatings, as well as the regulatory background, are also addressed.
Melamine is used to make resins and tableware, amongst other applications. The dossier summarizes applications, risks and regulations of the substance.
Microplastics have been found in all environmental compartments and in biota. Food is one source of human exposure to microplastics, and initial studies have shown that food packaging and processing equipment can contribute to this contamination. Risk assessment of microplastics that is based on exposure and toxicity data is currently hampered by insufficient data.
Mineral oil hydrocarbons
Mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOHs) are used during the production of many different food contact materials, but they are also frequent contaminants in packaging made of recycled paper and board. Migration studies revealed that food is regularly contaminated with mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH), the two main groups of MOHs. Biomonitoring experiments also detected high levels in different human tissues.
Non-intentionally added substances (NIAS)
NIAS are chemicals present in food contact materials and articles which have not been added for a technical reason. They include side products, breakdown products, and contaminants. Although more and more NIAS have been identified over time, by far not all are known. Risk assessment and management of NIAS therefore present particular challenges. The updated dossiers in English and German replace the previous edition with the DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.33514.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)
FPF dossier explains chemistry of PFASs, provides information on their use in food contact materials, the regulatory situation and effects on human health.
The dossier article addresses plastic recycling processes and legal requirements that have to be fulfilled for recycled plastic to be used in FCMs. Further, market and recycling data, as well as safety issues, are discussed. A special focus is given to the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Silicones are a highly versatile class of polymers. Silicone-based food contact materials include fluids, rubbers and resins. Further, silicones are used as additives in plastic. The dossier covers areas of application and current regulations, and reviews migration, exposure, and toxicology of silicones.
Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC)
The TTC is a pragmatic tool for estimating toxic potential. Both TTC and the Threshold of Regulation (TOR) assign human exposure thresholds to substances with known chemical structure, but unknown toxicity. The dossier reviews the scientific and historical background of threshold concepts and their advantages and challenges.