Risk Assessment of Plastic-based Food Contact Materials: Focus on Polyolefins
The aim of this chapter is to describe and comment on analytical approaches for characterizing intentionally added substances (IASs) with specific migration limits (SMLs) and non-intentionally added substances (NIASs) present in polyolefins used in food contact applications. Current EU regulations require the monitoring of packaging material components that could migrate into food, to avoid possible safety and quality issues. Generally, an extraction step involving static headspace (SHS), dynamic headspace and solvent extraction is applied for this purpose. Mass spectrometry coupled with chromatography is the main technique that can provide quantification and identification in line with regulatory requirements. Also, flame ionization detection (FID) is widely used as it allows universal quantitation in many cases. The described techniques can be applied to most of the plastic materials used in food packaging. In this chapter, only polyolefin-based polymers are considered and examples are focused mainly on polypropylene (PP) and its copolymers.