E. T. Contis et al. (Editors)Food Flavors: Formation, Analysis and Packaging Influences© 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved 719
Studies cm the develapment of a qmcd^ test for piedictiiis thesorption properties of refillable polycarbonate bottles
P,G. Demertzis^ and R. Franz^^Laboratory of Food Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University ofloannina, GR-45110 loannina, Greece^Fraunhofer - Institute for Food Technology and Packaging, Giggenhauserstr.
D-85354 Freising, Germany
Quick tests are recently proposed in the literature as alternatives to the largescale contamination studies performed to assess the quality and safety-in-useof recycled and reused plastic beverage bottles (Demertzis et al. PackagingTechnology and Science, in press; Nielsen et al. Food Additives andContaminants, in press). The work reported here has measured theinteraction of small plastic specimens (strips) in place of bottles with selectedmixtures of surrogate contaminants to model the great number of chemicalsthat could in principal contaminate returned bottles because of consumer misuse.Results showed that significant amounts of chemicals can be sorbed intothe plastic material if mis-used to establish a re-migration potential in thebottle material after refilling. Results were also compared with tests usingactual polycarbonate bottles.
Polycarbonates offer a unique combination of properties not encounteredwith any other thermoplastics. The main features are excellent mechanicalproperties which remain constant over an unusually broad temperaturerange, low absorption of liquids, resistance to weather, chemical resistance,total inertness to food components and transparency. These properties haveallowed them, in spite of their high cost, to penetrate several packagingapplications such as plates for ovenable dinners and refillable bottles for water,soft drinks and milk
Recently, in certain European countries, a system for washing andrefilling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate (PC) bottles usedfor soft drinks and other food packaging applications has been introduced.Although the result of this approach is a reduction in the production of newplastic bottles, serious contamination problems might arise if safeguards arenot provided. If, for instance, these bottles are used for storage of anyhousehold chemicals, such as detergents, photographic liquids, pesticides etc.,before being returned to the loop, they might become contaminated bysubstances