2014/10/29

Testing conditions for overall and specific migration test for packaging

Categories: Plastics in the food industry, Quality control of polymers and plastic products
Packaging Migration testing

Overall migration testing

The Regulation nº 10/2011 establishes nine possible testing conditions which cover all applications regarding overall migration. In the most common use, in other words, being in contact at room temperature for an indeterminate duration, the exposure of the sample with food simulant for 10 days at 40ºC is established as testing condition.

Regulation includes special conditions for foodstuff in contact at lower or higher temperatures than room temperature, which are increasingly common in plastics use, such as microwave/ oven use, stove, etc.

This way, for example, the condition 10 days at 20ºC is set for frozen or refrigerated products, 10 days at 40ºC for foodstuff at room temperature and 70ºC for 2 hours for warm contact without subsequent storage.

Specific migration testing

When it comes to specific migration, testing conditions are 3 days at 40ºC for food in contact for 1-3 days; 10 days at 40ºC for 3-30 days; and for more than 30 days, testing conditions are also 10 days but at a higher temperature (between 40º and 60ºC).

Some of the most common contact cases are: frozen or refrigerated storage, which includes punctual warming conditions (testing conditions: 10 days at 40ºC), storage to up to 6 months at room temperature and all storage times at refrigerated and frozen conditions including heating up to 70ºC up to 2 hours, or heating up to 100ºC for up to 15 minutes (testing conditions: 10 days at 50ºC) and long term storage (over 6 months) at room or lower temperature with punctual warming conditions (testing conditions: 10 days at 60ºC).

To put it in a nutshell, the new legislation figures new scenarios which did not before. As a consequence, it is advisable to check all our packaging conditions. The Plastics Technology Centre, AIMPLAS, has a wide group of specialists who offer companies assistance about food contact plastic legislation and who undertake overall and specific migration testing.

AIMPLAS is the first Spanish centre to offer testing accredited by ENAC under the quality standards ISO 17025 for the plastics industry.

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