Mérieux NutriSciences offers services to support customers in verifying food contact compliance, including overall and specific migration according to the type of material. The tests are performed in compliance with methods set out in legislation, recognized standards (UNI EN, DIN, LMBG, FDA, ISO etc.) and internal methods (developed and validated by Mérieux NutriSciences).
Overall migration tests measure the amount of a substance that migrates from the material to a liquid that simulates a food’s extractive capacity; this test cannot identify which substance has migrated to the simulant but can track the total quantity of the substances transferred by the tested material. The contact conditions (time and temperature) are set out by law according to the real conditions of use of the food contact material. The food simulants may be aqueous, oily or other liquids.
Specific migration is the quantification of certain substances (monomers, additives, plasticizers, elements and metals, etc.) in a food simulant. This test is very important as the specific migration limits for certain molecules are regulated by standards.
We also offer non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) studies, to identify and quantify chemical compounds that are present in a material but have not been added for a technical reason during the production process, and that may originate from the breakdown of food contact materials or impurities in raw materials. Recently, EFSA recommended refining the safety assessment of substances used in food contact materials, to take into consideration the migration of non-intentionally added substances, as the same degree of safety should be guaranteed in relation to all migrating substances.
Mérieux NutriSciences performs NIAS analysis using a wide range of sample preparation techniques (e.g. extraction with specific solvents such as hexane and ethanol) and highly sophisticated analytical methods (GC-MS, GC-Q-TOF, LC-MS, ICP-MS) to identify the presence of these substances. In addition, through a toxicological evaluation of chemicals to establish their effects on human health, it is possible to assess the potential risks associated with the final product.
Technological suitability represents another important aspect of food contact materials testing. A material that is intended to come into contact with food must be safe, and aspects such as technological suitability and appropriate physico-mechanical properties play a fundamental role.
Mérieux NutriSciences has several years of experience in the food contact materials sector and offers a comprehensive range of services to support customers to:
- Perform Mechanical resistance and physical tests (link)
- Evaluate morphological variations of packaging after repeated washes (link)
- Evaluate Volatile Organic Compounds that are generated in the headspace during cooking
- Perform Sensory Test (link)