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PROJECT INFORMATION Laboratory Report Number: Author: Date: Project title: Sponsor: FD 03/28 L Castle April 2004 Active packaging – current trends and potential for migration Food Standards Agency Aviation House 125 Kingsway London WC2 6NH A03039 K6AD FLN 7576 L Castle 1. 2. 3. 4. Dr Barnes (FSA) (x5 + disk) CSL Library Dr Dennis (CSL) Prof. Gilbert (CSL)
Sponsor’s Project Number: CSL Project Number: CSL File Reference: Team Leader: Distribution:
CSL Sand Hutton York YO41 1LZ
2 / 28
to extend shelf-life or improve sensory properties while maintaining the freshness and the quality of the food. flavourings or colours. the recommendations of this report are: a) active ingredients (themselves or their by-products) which may become components of the food should comply with community provisions on food additives. antioxidants. b) active or intelligent packaging should not mislead the consumer. food authenticity and food labelling. the recommendations of this report are: a) active or intelligent packaging should comply with the Framework Directive on food contact materials. d) existing standardised test methods should in the main be applicable to testing active and intelligent packaging for migration. for example should not contradict whatever the consumer understands by ‘fresh’. the food is intended to influence the packaging. So testing for undesirable gas-phase migration should be considered. The present UK market for such active or intelligent applications is small. It is intended to change the condition of the packed food. Any incidental chemical migration could be controlled using the existing legislative instruments provided that the Framework Directive was modified to encompass such packaging. c) many of the active or intelligent systems rely on their active function (absorbing or releasing) operating through the gas phase. c) such packaging should be suitable and effective for the intended use. To do this. although some applications may required simulants that are not liquids – for example a semisolid food simulant with liquid absorbed onto a carrier. as well as 89/109/EEC. For this sector. d) it should comply with Directives 92/59/EEC (general product safety). the packaging should absorb food-related chemicals or should release substances such as preservatives. 3 / 28 . and 87/357/EEC concerning misleading and unsafe claims. For intelligent packaging. because for example if spoilage indicators are scavenged then food may have spoiled but the consumer cannot detect this. It is concluded from the research described here that the major impact of any wider introduction of such packaging would fall on the sectors of direct food additives. b) such packaging materials should comply with the existing overall migration limit. For these sectors. excluding the active agent released intentionally.SUMMARY Active packaging is intended to influence the packed food.
THE LIKELY FUTURE MARKET FOR ACTIVE PACKAGING IN THE UK 3.2 Antioxidant releasers CASE STUDY 1.1 Wooden barrels for whisky 2.1 Definitions 4.1 Antimicrobial releasers 3.1 The test procedures and simulants already available 6. APPLICABILITY OF EXISTING MIGRATION TEST PROTOCOLS 6.4 Oxygen scavengers 2.5 General observations on active ingredients 5.5 Fungicides used in fruit wrappers 2.3 The nature of the test apparatus employed 6.6 Microwave susceptors 2.2.7 Antimicrobial substances used to protect/preserve the food contact material 3.3 Standardisation of new analytical methods 7.3 Intentional removal (scavenging) of substances from the food 4.2 Meat pads and fish pads 2.2.3 Plastic fruit bags with an ethylene scavenger incorporated 2.2 Intentional transfer (release) of substances to the food 4. EVALUATE THE MIGRATION POTENTIAL FOR THE APPLICATIONS IDENTIFIED 4.1 The physical nature of the food simulants commonly used 6.2. REFERENCES Page 5 5 6 6 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 10 11 11 11 11 12 13 14 16 16 16 17 17 18 19 21 21 22 22 22 22 22 23 4 / 28 .2 Intelligent packaging – definition 1. Allyl Isothiocyanate from horseradish / mustard CASE STUDY 2. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Active packaging – definition 1.3 The scientific objectives of this work 2. EVALUATION OF THE ‘ACTIPAK’REPORT 6.2 Releasing systems 3.2 The chemical nature of the food simulants commonly used 6.Table of Contents 1. THE PRESENT MARKET FOR ACTIVE PACKAGING IN THE UK 2.4 General observation on scavenging systems 4.1 Absorbing systems 3.2.2 Applicability of existing migration test procedures 6.2. A photo-initiated oxygen-scavenging plastic 4.
Active packaging is intended to change the condition of the packed food. carbon dioxide. 1. which generally will not be discussed in detail further because they are intended to change only the physical properties of the food. a working definition of active packaging is ‘food packaging which has an extra function. which will be described and discussed in later sections. and then moving to (iii) a plastic film that has a chemical system built-in to the polymer to react with oxygen and so modify the pack atmosphere. active packaging must act in one of two possible ways Absorbers of food-related chemicals • Scavengers of oxygen. However. an exception will be made for microwave susceptor materials. to extend shelf-life or improve sensory properties while maintaining the freshness and the quality of the food In order to exert this function. There is a gradation. ethylene. flavourings. Modifiers of physical properties • Self-heating cans. from (i) a barrier film which prevents gas exchange between a packed food and its environs. colours There is in fact a third category. Therefore.1. in addition to that of providing a protective barrier against external influence’. For example. water. moving to (ii) a film made with a polymer blend that has selective permeability to different gasses and allows the food product to ‘breathe’. widgets in beverage cans for foam formation It should be appreciated that such a clear distinction between ‘active’ and ‘passive’ packaging systems is simplistic. INTRODUCTION There have been several recent reviews of active and intelligent food packaging upon which this report builds. off-flavours like amines and aldehydes Emitters of food additives • Releasing preservatives. The state of the art was described most recently in the final report of a large EU-funded project ‘Actipak’ . These are materials that are intended to heat the food surface but which in operation can incidentally release thermal breakdown products of their constituents.1 Active packaging – definition A common way to define ‘active packaging’ is to highlight what distinguishes it from so-called conventional (‘passive’) packaging. antioxidants. The first is 5 / 28 . They have covered both the technological aspects    as well as the legislative questions that these materials pose     .
They have been defined as Concepts that monitor to give information about the quality of the packed food. and the second (called EMAP equilibrium-modified atmosphere packaging) may be considered to be either active or passive because it clearly modifies the pack environment but permeability is a passive and not an active transport function. a) what future experimental migration work may be needed. by those dealing with direct food additives. Examples are indicators of: time-temperature storage history. how should these materials be authorised. b) what changes to the CEN standard methods of migration testing are needed. Evaluate the migration potential for those applications identified 3. the third is clearly active. scientific and legislative problems that active packaging materials may pose are shared also by intelligent packaging materials. Evaluate if standard migration test protocols are adequate for the applications identified 6 / 28 . c) what aspects of active packaging should be considered by other legislative sectors. 2.g. e.clearly passive. spoilage status.3 The scientific objectives of this work The scientific problem that this project tackled was. if any. the active ingredient(s) and the types of food in contact.2 Intelligent packaging – definition Most of the technical. the types of packaging involved. and tamper-breakage information. the project had 6 objectives. food authenticity and food labelling. if any. therefore. 11]? What special problems may be caused with respect to the quality and the safety of the packaged food? The project aimed to address 3 main areas. Define and evaluate the size of the present and likely future market for active packaging in the UK. the packaging is intended to influence the food • for intelligent packaging. regulated and tested [10. 1. To address these questions. including any experimental work if required 4. 1. the food is intended to influence the packaging 1. carbon dioxide or oxygen status. Make recommendations for further work. Consequently • for active packaging.
5. Make recommendations within CEN TC194 if standard test protocols are found to be wanting. Make a critical evaluation of the report from the European Project ‘Actipak’ 6. 7 / 28 .
Permanganate-containing sachets have not been found in use in the UK.2. 8 / 28 . being moisture/humidity control agents. poultry and fish in display packs. aroma and colour components that may subsequently re-migrate into the spirit. is also possible in principle because permanganate is a strong oxidising agent. Ethylene itself is a hormone for fruit ripening and it is claimed that fruit placed in the active bags keep for longer in the home. the barrels may be pre-treated by flaming to char the interior of the wood.2 Meat pads and fish pads In these applications. pads are used to absorb the drip from meat. ‘Absorbers’ 2. to form acetic acid. The topic of ethylene scavengers has been reviewed . Further oxidation. A number of active packaging systems are used in the UK presently. It is claimed that the mineral acts as an ethylene scavenger and as such this application falls under the category of an absorber of food-related chemicals. Other absorbent pads may contain water-imbibing polyacrylamide granules. Another mode of action is possible using permanganate absorbed onto silica gel to oxidise ethylene first to acetaldehyde and then to ethanol . The plastic is polyethylene which is impregnated with a mineral such as powdered pumice stone. ‘Scavengers’ 2. To help do this.1 Wooden barrels for whisky Wooden barrels are very widely used for the storage and maturation of whisky. Their construction is usually a laminate of plastic gauze. the active ingredient(s) and the types of food in contact are considered here. sherry wine to incorporate flavour. adhesive and cellulose fibre pad and the food contact surface is the plastic. It is not clear from the literature if the oxidation products are trapped on the silica or if they are released into the internal pack atmosphere. These include: ‘Traditional’ applications 2.3 Plastic fruit bags with an ethylene scavenger incorporated These bags are occasionally advertised by mail-order companies. THE PRESENT MARKET FOR ACTIVE PACKAGING IN THE UK The types of packaging involved. to change and improve the organoleptic qualities of the stored spirit. wine and other alcoholic drinks and this has been practiced for a very long time. As such they fall under the category of an absorber of food-related chemicals. They are very widely used. With an inorganic mineral the ethylene is trapped on the active ingredient. This packaging application has both releasing and absorbing character. The barrels may also be used first with e.g.
g. they act as fungistatics which migrate from the wrapping paper to the fruit to inhibit post-harvest microbial decay . ascorbate and sodium sulfite.2. This is glued onto a paperboard backing.1 they are ‘modifiers of physical properties’. Under the definitions of active packaging described in Section 1.4 Oxygen scavengers Oxygen scavengers find limited use at present in the UK. The food is packaged in the absence of oxygen – in the case of meat it is vacuum-packed or packed under nitrogen gas. individually or in combination with imazilil and/or thiabendazol. 24]. Examples of their use include packaging for pizzas. an absorber of oxygen is used to supplement the gas-barrier properties of the primary packaging material. E 230. ‘Releasers’ 2. 2. The role of the oxygen absorber is then to scavenge any oxygen that may permeate through the primary packaging and which would otherwise spoil the flavour of the product. their withdrawal from Directive 95/2/EC has been proposed recently in a 5th amendment to Directive 95/2/EC on food additives other than colours and sweeteners . 200ºC or more) can give rise to thermal breakdown of their constituents and accelerated migration [21.5 Fungicides used in fruit wrappers Biphenyl (E230) and orthophenyl phenol (E231 and its sodium form E232) are widely used as a post-harvest fungicide for citrus fruits imported into the UK . These applications are not common. the use of oxygen scavengers in high-value meat was estimated to be about 150 M units in the UK in 2001 . In this application. E231 and E230 are also used to impregnate fruit wrappers . For the sake of consistency. 23. they fall under Directives 91/414/EEC and 90/642/EEC. Microwave susceptors are not intentional ‘releasing’ systems but the high temperature generated (ca. Bi-laminate materials comprise a poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) film as the food contact surface which is coated with a thin film of aluminium.6 Microwave susceptors Microwave susceptors are materials used for crisping and browning foods in microwave ovens. 22. The chemicals used to react with oxygen include powdered iron . As these substances are to be considered as plant protection products. whereas beers are packed under an atmosphere of carbon dioxide. In these two applications.or tri.g. salami ) and in bottled beers. The chemical can be incorporated into the primary packaging (e. in high-value meat packs (e. For example. into the crown cap of a bottle or into the bottle wall ) or as a sachet insert .laminate in structure. E 231 and E 232 were temporarily authorised under Directive 95/2/EC for treatment of citrus fruits. chips and popcorn. Microwave susceptors in current use are bi. They can be applied to the fruit surface directly using immersion baths or as a spray. Tri-laminate materials also comprise metallised film with a paper backing but have an overlying layer of paper as the food contact surface. 9 / 28 .
Rather. Exerting a preservative effect using Triclosan is still at the concept stage only [27. does not act as a food preservative. then these applications fall within the scope of the framework directive 89/109/EEC. kitchenware).g.4. thereby maintaining the hygienic properties and/or the cleanability of the plastic surface. conveyor belts and other food processing equipment) and consumers (e.2. strictly they are not because there is no intention to exert any preservative effect on the food. the antimicrobial agent is incorporated into materials and articles with the declared function of releasing the substance to the surface only.4' -trichloro-2' -hydroxydiphenyl ether)  in a wide range of food contact materials and articles on sale to UK industry (e. 29]. Insofar as the active ingredients are not intended to migrate into the food and that any migration that does occur is incidental to the intended function.g. However. it will be necessary to demonstrate that any incidental migration that there may be. 10 / 28 . 28.7 Antimicrobial substances used to protect/preserve the food contact material Examples include the use of silver releasers in plasticised PVC cling film food wrap  and Triclosan (2. Although these applications are often considered to be active packaging.
The next most important application is probably moisture absorbers/regulators. A brief overview of these applications is of interest here because it indicates what may enter the European market place if proposals  to modify the EU Framework Directive are carried-through. biscuits. or silica gel. In other scavenging applications.1 Antimicrobial releasers A number of chemical release systems are designed to exert a preservative effect on the food via an antimicrobial activity. • Antimicrobials [36.g. 3. Forecast sales  of oxygen scavenging systems in Western Europe in 2004 are 2. It has been noted  that many of the concepts and technologies for active packaging have been available for the past 20 years and yet they have not been commercialised significantly outside of Japan and South-East Asia. beers. sachets of plastic films containing the active ingredient are used. Furthermore.100M units. the UK applications listed above are all absorbing rather than releasing systems. The applications include. water-imbibing polyacrylamide. amongst others. Sales of oxygen scavenging systems in Western Europe was estimated to be 10M units in 1998 and 300M units in 2001. rising to 5. poultry and fish packs. meat and bakery products.g. milk powder. silicon dioxide 11 / 28 .700M units in 2007. The active ingredient can be hydroscopic materials such as concentrated sugar solutions. enzymes are incorporated into the packaging material with the aim to remove lactose from milk and milk products or cholesterol from liquid egg and milk  or to remove bitter components from fruit juices [33. 3. typically.2. In the simplest form the moisture absorbers are pads with absorbent fibrous materials as described in Section 2.2 above and used in meat. THE LIKELY FUTURE MARKET FOR ACTIVE PACKAGING IN THE UK With the exception of wooden barrels for whisky and fruit wrapping papers. Japan and the USA in the year 2004 are 140 and 4 M€ respectively. the use of active packing – with some exceptions – is not at all widespread in the UK. By contrast. rising to 207 and 22 M€ respectively in 2007. 37] for.3. and cooked meats . benzoic  acids) and ethanol emitters (e. 34]. For more sophisticated moisture regulators. active packaging materials are both more numerous and are used much more widely in the USA and especially in Japan. This probably reflects the different legislative systems that operate. Forecast sales  of antibacterial and preservative releasers in Europe. propionic .1 Absorbing/Scavenging systems The major market in Japan and the USA is for oxygen scavengers. This includes formaldehyde .2. small organic acids (e. packaging pasta.2 Releasing systems The most significant difference between the UK (and Europe) and Japan/USA is in the commercial exploitation of releasing systems in the latter countries. sorbic . 3.
49]). releasing ethanol by displacement by water vapour absorbed from the food ).g. • Antimicrobials obtained from plant extracts  (e. the bacteriocin nisin. 12 / 28 .impregnated with ethanol and contained within a paper/plastic laminate. 45]) 3.g. methyl chavicol and linalool from basil.2 Antioxidant releasers A number of chemical release systems are designed to exert a preservative effect on the food via an antioxidant activity. a protein with activity against gram-negative bacteria which is an approved food additive in some countries [44. • Sulfur dioxide released from metabisulphite. 47]). • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol. • Silver releasing systems. • Phenolics from plant extracts (e. • Butylated hydroxy anisole and butylated hydroxy toluene (BHA and BHT). • Chlorine dioxide released from (propriety) inorganic precursors.2. • Carbon dioxide releasers (from water-absorption into a dry-mix of sodium hydrogen carbonate and ascorbate). [46.g. from Oregano and Rosemary [48. allyl isothiocyanate from horseradish/mustard ) or from other biobased sources (e. for cooked meats and meat products. Bakery products such as biscuits and cereal products are target market applications.
Format 1. Internal label Food 13 / 28 . may incidentally come into direct contact with the food. Polyethylene (20~100 µm thick) and oriented polypropylene (10 to 20 µm thick) are said to be suitable whereas oriented polystyrene. In this format. This application is advertised as being on sale in Japan . obtained from horseradish or mustard. as an antimicrobial substance.g.or onto existing ‘non-active’ food packages. External label Food In this format there are restrictions on the type of primary packaging films that can be used. Format 2. however. These include paper. A releasing system Allyl Isothiocyanate from horseradish / mustard Most early examples of active packaging – both releasers and absorbers . Internal label containing the active ingredient If an internal label is deployed then impermeable packaging films can used.These active packaging concepts can be appreciated more clearly by considering two case studies. External label containing the active ingredient The active ingredient is incorporated into an external label that is attached to the outside of the primary packaging. allyl isothiocyanate held within a cyclic oligosacharide). the film must not be impermeable. CASE STUDY 1. the label itself and any chemicals that may be used to contain or encapsulate the active ingredient to give a controlled release rate (e. Since the active ingredient must penetrate the primary packaging film. polyethyleneterephthalate and cellulose have insufficient permeability. an atmosphere of the active ingredient must be established within the packaging and so materials that are too permeable are not suitable either. non-woven fabrics and plasticised PVC films. On the other hand. The active ingredient permeates as a gas through the packaging film and treats the food surface. They take the form of sachet inserts or stick-on strips or labels placed in. A typical example is the use of allyl isothiocyanate.have an ‘add-on’ character to be used along with the primary packaging material.
Sheet Food CASE STUDY 2. plastic beer bottles. was not possible because the oxidation products formed from the nylon were poorly understood and were considered to have the potential to migrate into the bottled product giving an organoleptic problem. Internal film containing the active ingredient In this format. the active sheet is not laminated to the inside of the primary packaging but. the residual cobalt from the polymerisation catalyst in certain grades of PET caused photo-initiated oxidation of the nylon with consequent scavenging of oxygen. for example. It may simply be considered to be an immobilised sachet secured to the inside of the primary packaging material. The development of certain oxygen-scavenging plastic films came about from a chance observation. One reason may be the fear that the sachet could be mistaken by consumers to contain a seasoning to be applied to the food product . Nevertheless. This appears to be the direction that the food industry wishes to take. The commercial exploitation of these laminates as. rather.or onto existing ‘non-active’ food packages. which is an extension of the internal label format. European consumers do seem to be resistant to sachet technology. 14 / 28 .The internal label is functionally equivalent to sachet technology. The food is packaged in the film. is placed inside the packaging on top of the food – and can make either direct contact or incidental contact during transport etc. A uv-photoinitiator and an oxidation catalyst are formulated into the plastic as additives. a proprietary oxidisable substrate is incorporated into the polymer backbone as a monomer. this chance discovery gave the impetus to develop other oxygen-scavenging plastics. then in more recent examples the active function is engineered into the primary packaging material from the outset. A scavenging system A photo-initiated oxygen-scavenging plastic If early examples have an ‘add-on’ character and take the form of sachet inserts or stick-on strips or labels placed in. with the active function incorporated into barrier technology rather than using sachet technology . Format 3. In one example. When nylon was laminated to PET. Despite the fact that sachet technology is used widely in Japan.
56]. Each part of the three-component system – the monomer and the two additives – are subject to the normal petition process to have monomers and additives placed on the positive list of substances used to make plastics intended for food contact in the EU . it has been reported that the films have a limited shelf-life of about three months on the reel . One commercial product using this approach is the Cryovac OS2000 range of films which have an oxidisable co-polymer layer laminated to a PVDC outer layer which provides a barrier and so directs the oxygen-scavenging activity towards the pack interior [53. Although the oxygen-scavenging activity is triggered by irradiation using uv light. 54. Because the oxidisable substrate is polymer-bound then it is intended that the oxidation products are too. 55. 15 / 28 . and so they will not migrate.which is then activated using a short burst of uv-light to start the scavenging of oxygen from the atmosphere that surrounds the food.
As part of this project. or an external label Primary packaging Carrier with the active ingredient Food Or if the carrier for the active ingredient is the primary packaging material itself as a mono or bi/multi-layer: Primary packaging containing the active ingredient Food 4. It is helpful to describe the different components of the systems in generic terms. 4. to examine these issues in 2002 and 2003. The following definitions and descriptions emerged . EVALUATE THE MIGRATION POTENTIAL FOR THE APPLICATIONS IDENTIFIED A large number of applications for active and intelligent packaging are at various stages of development or commercialisation. CSL participated in a DG-SANCO task force of technical experts. • active absorbing materials and articles .2 Intentional transfer (release) of substances to the food This can be either through direct contact or indirectly through the package headspace gas. to facilitate a systematic examination of their migration potential.deliberately absorb substances from the packaged food or from the environment surrounding the food.means the material used to contain the active or intelligent ingredient For example: with an internal sachet or label.components deliberately incorporated in an active material or article. • carrier .1 Definitions • active releasing materials and articles .deliberately release substances into the packaged food or the environment surrounding the food. 16 / 28 . • active ingredients .4.
then it could stretch the publics normal perception of what constitutes ‘fresh’. 4. scavenging of oxygen by iron to form iron oxide. it might be necessary to demonstrate that an effective concentration was in place in the food soon after packaging. and the scavenging of oxygen by an oxidisable polymer to form polymer-bound products. acetaldehyde and acetic acid). transport and storage. The carrier. But insofar as the packaging is ‘inert’ then this falls within the normal principles and procedures whereby packaging materials and articles are approved. Examples are the scavenging of ethylene by permanganate (to form ethanol.g.would need to comply with the normal rules for composition and migration of/from materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs. Precursors to the active agent (the active ingredient).The active agent. If the packaging maintains freshness e. if relying on chemical migration (a diffusion process) to supply the active ingredient to the food. The identity and potential migration of these intentional transformation products would need consideration. Migration test conditions may need to be tailored on a case-by-case basis because of the specialist conditions of use. These substances are then considered as packaging migrants and should be dealt with in the normal petitioning process  to gain approval. if an active packaging maintains 17 / 28 . If restrictions are needed then they will be assigned a specific migration limit. 4. and that migration was not too high or too low at different temperatures during packaging. The carrier.4 General observation on scavenging systems There are important aspects to be considered here by other legislative sectors. For example. The carrier system for the active ingredient would need to be evaluated as described above for releasing systems.3 Intentional removal (scavenging) of substances from the food The active ingredient. as normal.g. Special tests may be needed to verify efficacy under actual and foreseeable conditions of use. The emphasis here is on substances that may incidentally migrate but are not intended to migrate in order to perform their function. Such applications do not currently fall within the scope of regulations on food contact materials since the framework directive 89/109/EEC deals with the transfer of constituents to foodstuffs. by maintaining an inert atmosphere and the food does not age/degrade. The active ingredients clearly fall within the regulations on Direct Food Additives (since the addition is intentional and not incidental) and they would require specific authorisation as such. that the concentration did not exceed any limit value towards the end of the shelf life. In certain cases the scavenging activity is by a chemical reaction. The carrier system for the active ingredient . However.e. a sachet insert or panel patch or the primary packaging impregnated . Products of the scavenged substance(s).
limit of detection.only the appearance of freshness.g. However. If not dealt with properly. adhesives and secondary packaging all of which are not intended to touch the food directly. permanganate for ethylene. threshold of toxicological concern) then the legislative status of these non-contact substances is unclear. and the low molecular weight amines evolved as fish suffers microbial attack . Examples of spoilage indicators are short aldehydes formed as fats autoxidise and go rancid . because similar questions apply to the components of printing inks. it could give rise to safety questions if the food may have spoiled with microbial growth but the consumer cannot detect this because the spoilage indicators are absent (scavenged).g. by scavenging undesirable degradation products . This must be provided by an assessment of their migration potential which by necessity would have to be application-specific (case-by-case) and not a generic assessment. These components may be acceptable because there is no direct contact made with the food and this is achieved using a barrier layer to migration. At worst. along with the necessary agreed definition of no-migration (e. This is not a unique situation. 4. Examples include the components in a gas scavenging system (e. An accommodation for these non-contact substances used in active and intelligent packaging is needed. This is quite a philosophical as well as a technical question. in the absence of an agreed definition of a functional barrier. 18 / 28 . e. then this could be a problem.g.5 General observations on active ingredients There are many substances used or likely to be used in active packaging that are not presently on any positive list or inventory list. threshold of regulation. active packaging could give rise to quality problems where the food has aged but the consumer cannot tell. iron powder for oxygen) or the exotic transition metals in thermochromic dyes used in time-temperature indicators.
3 the effectiveness of the concept' sensory. those aspects that have a potential impact on consumers with respect to food quality and safety.1 their economic and environmental effects 4. EVALUATION OF THE ‘ACTIPAK’REPORT This large European project was funded under the 5th Framework programme. An investigation of: 3. microbial and chemical shelfs life extending capacity 3. 3.2 the risks from false indications 3. The process and the outcome of the Actipak project contributed in part to the formulation of the principles discussed  for a draft regulation on active and intelligent packaging that encapsulates all the key points identified.5. meat) then food may have spoiled but the consumer cannot detect this. with scavenging of spoilage indicators (e. With the review of the area described in chapters 1 to 4 in this report. 5. The project  had five key tasks: 1.4 the efficiency of the concepts as scavengers of. it can be concluded that the Actipak project was successful in identifying and disseminating the main topics of interest here – that is. 4. a) should comply with the Framework Directive on FCMs b) should not mislead the consumer e.g. Examination of the toxicological properties of selected active and intelligent packaging concepts. ethylene. fish.g. An in-depth review of technologies. Combinations of food and packaging will be selected and prepared for testing. Modification of current migration testing methods and development of procedures for systematic evaluation of the fitness for food contact of active and intelligent concepts. A study of the analytical composition and migration behaviour of selected active and intelligent concepts: this will be used to determine a classification in view of the restrictions of current legislation. oxygen. What does ‘fresh’ mean? c) should be suitable and effective for the intended purpose of use e.2 the attitude of European consumers to these innovative concepts. verify efficacy ? d) comply with Directives 92/59/EEC (general product safety) and 87/357/EEC (misleading and unsafe claims) e.g. 4. 2.g. market and consumer needs and trends in active and intelligent packaging in relation to current European food packaging regulations. for example.1 the safety of the selected concepts through microbial safety analysis 3. legislation. Discussion with EU and national authorities about legislative aspects of active and intelligent packaging and drafting of amendments specific to these concepts. e) active absorbing or intelligent ingredient must be authorised e. establishment of a Community list submit data for its safety evaluation by EFSA 19 / 28 .g.
purity criteria etc 20 / 28 .f) intelligent ingredients not listed. the amount of the active releasing ingredients shall not be included in the determination of OM h) SMLs for authorised active absorbing and intelligent ingredients shall be established i) verification of compliance to be carried out in accordance with the (normal) rules however. other test conditions and/or food simulants may be used provided that they represent the worst conditions not causing these changes j) active ingredients (themselves or their by-products) which may become components of the food must comply with all the community provisions on food additives. if the tests cause physical or other changes which do not occur in use. max levels. functional barrier needs definition g) Overall migration limit of 60 ppm however. may be used provided that they are separated from the food by a “functional barrier”. flavourings etc this would apply with respect to types of foods.
Simulants are selected to mimic the essential features of the different food categories.simulants. however. time and temperature conditions of test . rubber and elastomers. The guiding principle in the EC Directives on plastics. There is presently no simulant or test conditions specified for indirect contact (gas phase migration) or for contact with dry foods for which gas-phase migration could be important. then misleading test results could be obtained. specific migration limits (SML). It is likely that most present and future active packaging applications will be based on plastics as the primary packaging and carrier materials. such as paper and board. This includes taking into account the chemical and physical state of the packaged food. 3% ethanol solution. that if these protocols . The migration limits in the regulations apply to the foodstuffs themselves or.are applied to active and intelligent packaging materials without due regard to any special construction features or modes of application with foodstuffs. For other types of materials. is that migration testing should mimic the worst foreseeable conditions of actual use with food . It is likely. no harmonised test protocols exist. or alternative oils (no simulant specified) There is extensive guidance available on the selection of appropriate conditions and test methods for overall migration and specific migration [63. 10% or higher olive oil. 6. Type of food aqueous foods acidic foods alcoholic foods fatty foods dry foods Simulant distilled water acetic acid solution. Many of the active or intelligent systems rely on their active function (absorbing or releasing) operating through the gas phase. 64]. So testing for undesirable gas-phase migration should be considered. along with the nature and extent of the contact. 21 / 28 . compositional limits on a mass-fraction basis (QM) and compositional limits on a mass-area basis (QMA).6. APPLICABILITY OF EXISTING MIGRATION TEST PROTOCOLS • Evaluate if standard migration test protocols are adequate for the applications identified • Make recommendations within CEN TC194 if standard test protocols are found to be wanting.1 The test procedures and simulants already available Migration test protocols are fairly well established for ceramics and plastics. alternatively. to so-called food simulants. Plastics are controlled  by an overall migration limits (OML).
it simply resides in the atmosphere within the food package. but some migration testing would be required – for example into a semi-solid food simulant with liquid absorbed onto a carrier . the conventional simulants may be too aggressive chemically. which states that if tests under the contact conditions specified cause physical or other changes in the test specimen which do not occur under worst foreseeable conditions of use of the material or article.3 Standardisation of new analytical methods If as envisaged [57. These situations are already foreseen in the Plastics sector. Many of these carriers are permeable to liquid simulants and these simulants would cause a physical change that would not occur during normal conditions of use with the food. off-odours) and the carrier is not intended to come into direct contact with the food. then the worst possible conditions not causing these changes should be used.2. then there is the possibility of migration in the opposite direction. 22 / 28 . 67] the commission proposes a new specific measure on active and intelligent packaging along with case-by-case evaluation of migration potential. moisture. 6.g. It might be inappropriate to test such pads by total immersion or single-sided contact with a liquid food simulant. alternative simulants may be required that are not liquids.2. if the pad approaches saturation. 6. Consequently.2. However. In these cases. from the pad to the meat. oxygen. the exchange of substances is via the gas phase (e.2 Applicability of existing migration test procedures 6. to allow the release or absorption of substances. the carrier of the active ingredient may be too small to test using conventional single-sided test apparatus and so specialised migration cells may be required. A “sandwich technique” using conventional simulants and test conditions may be suitable these tests . Another example is meat pads used for moisture control. This may give excessive migration if tested using 3% acetic acid whereas this might not occur in acidic foods. Rather. 6. In the case of pouch or sachet inserts. When first placed in contact with the meat or fish. then CEN TC194 will need to respond to mandates from the commission for the development of new application-specific standard test protocols. An example would be if the active packaging were iron physically mixed into a polymer as an oxygen scavenger. ethylene.6. there is a flux of liquid from the meat into the pad.3 The nature of the test apparatus employed In some applications.2 The chemical nature of the food simulants commonly used In certain cases. an alternative simulant should be considered that more closely mimics the behaviour of the food. This may bring components of the adhesive into contact with the food.1 The physical nature of the food simulants commonly used The carrier of the active ingredient must be permeable to some extent.
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