Packaging migration

Food comes into contact with several materials and articles during its production, storage, processing, preparation and serving, before its eventual consumption. Such materials and articles are called Food Contact Materials (FCMs). FCMs are widely used in everyday life as food packaging and wrapping, cookware, cutlety, food containers, work surfaces, coffee machines etc. FCMs should be sufficiently inert and their constituents should neither adversely affect consumer health nor influence food quality. For this reason, the European Commission established a harmonized legal EU framework, Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 for all Food Contact Materials. This regulation includes general safety requirements for the manufacturing (GMP), procession and a few secondary legal acts laying down on specific regulations (China products, Epoxy resins etc) and specific materials (Recycled plastics, Ceramics etc) plus labeling and traceability. As a result, all FCMs should not transfer constituents to food in quantities that could endanger human health, bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or a deterioration of its organoleptic characteristics. Here are some materials and articles: Active and intelligent materials and articles, Adhesives, Ceramics / Glass, Metal and alloys, Paper and board, Plastics, Regenerated cellulose, Rubbers, Silicones, Varnishes and coatings etc.

ERGANAL lab ensures consumer & food safety by performing state-of-the-art consultancy services and a wide range of analytical tests on food-contact packaging according to relevant nation, European and global regulations to bring your products to market.

Οverall Migration 

Food packaging are of high importance because they protect food from physical damage, soiling, and microbial spoilage. However, chemicals can migrate from food packaging into food and thereby potentially affect human health. Plastic articles are the most versatile and popular materials used in the manufacture of food packaging and other FCMs. EU Regulation 10/2011 establishes the specific rules for plastic materials and articles to be applied for their safe use to come into contact with foodstuffs. The most possible way to proof conformity of the material is to measure the overall migration by analytical methods using standard EN 1186 series and compare the result with the migration limit from 10/2011 Regulation (article 12). ERGANAL Lab provides Overall migration based on EN 1186 standards with accreditation by ESYD making our labs your testing partner for the migration tests. 

Specific Migration 

Specific migration is the amount of a specific component migrating from food contact materials to the food during contact. According to (EC) 10/2011 “specific migration limit” (SML) means the maximum permitted amount of a given substance released from a material or article into food or food simulants. ERGANAL Labs (accredited by 17025) provide specific migration analysis not only for all the EN 13130 standards but also plasticizers, plastic additives and many others REACH substances. Here are some examples of specific migration we can provide in our lab: Bisphenol A, 1,3 butadiene, ethyleneglycol, terepthalic acid, caprolactam and phthalates, Primary aromatic amines, Acetaldehyde, Formaldehyde/Melamine, mineral oils, PAHs etc.

Screening methods NIAS & set off 

With increasing complexity of FCMs, NIAS screening facilitate the detection and identification of chemicals which have not been added for a technical reason during the production process. NIAS are not limited to plastics but also occur in all other non-plastic FCMs. Especially recycling products may contain several unknown contaminants in FCMs. NIAS screening consists of organic volatile substances screening, inorganic elements screen, semi-volatile substances by organic extraction and finally multi-residual screening for the detection of non-volatile substances by comparison with a database of organic substances.

Set-off occurs when printed surfaces of packaging material come into contact with the food contact side. Such may be the case during stacking or rolling of food contact materials that are printed on the outside. Set-off migration occurs when printed film foil is stored in rolls, or when paper cups are stacked into each other.

Paper & Board 

Paper and board have gained a significant market piece as Food Contact Materials with respect to the protection of human health. Paper and board products have a wide range of food contact applications: as tea bags, baking papers, filters, beverage cartons, sacks, packaging for dry and frozen foods, including transport and distribution packaging, and tissue products.

Erganal labs follows national and European guidelines to ensure necessary measures for consumer protection. Especially, our lab provides a plethora of specific migration following national legislations and BfR recommmendations such as: Determination of grammage and dry matter, Colour fastness, Fastness of fluorescent brightener, Primary aromatic amines/ Azo Dyes, Formaldehyde, Pentachlorophenol, Glyoxal, MOSH & MOAH.

Metal & Alloys 

Metals and alloys are used in food contact materials and articles in food processing equipment, containers and household utensils as well as in foil used to wrap food. Our Lab follows the technical guide CM/Res(2013)9 for Metals and alloys used in food contact materials and articles and shall comply with the specific release limits (SRLs) expressed in mg/kg. In case of polymer coated FCMs, the overall and specific migration can be used for the compliance following EU Regulation 10/2011and article 28 of Food and Drinks Code.

Glass & Ceramics 

Directive 84/500/EEC concerns the possible migration of lead and cadmium from ceramic articles which, in their finished state, are intended to come into contact with foodstuffs, or which are in contact with foodstuffs, and are intended for that purpose.

Heavy Metals

-acc. to EU 94/62 (CrVI, Pb, Hg, Cd) for the Environment

-acc. to Greek Legislation for paper and board (Pb, Hg, Cd)

-acc. to BfR for paper and board (Pb, Hg, Cd, Al)

-acc. to EU Reg. 10/2011 for plastic articles

-acc. to 84/500/EEC (Cd, Pb) Ceramic articles

Sensory analysis

Sensory inertness of FCM is a demand of the framework regulation 1935/2004. ERGANAL performs DIN EN 1230-1,2 for Paper and Board and DIN 10955 for Plastic articles.

Physical & Mechanical Properties

Physical properties: FTIR identification and determination of glass transition, melting and crystalline temperature of polymers (raw materials), Oxygen and Water vapor transmission rates, Microwave suitability.

Mechanical properties: Strength testing, Resistance to packaging strain, Weldability profile, Delamination force, Flexural strength

Recycled Materials  

As it is not possible to know all possible types of contamination and as different types of plastics have different capacities to retain and release contaminants it is not possible to set defined characteristics for the final product applicable to all types of recycled plastics. At ERGANAL we perform all the appropriate analysis to ensure that materials and articles produced from recycled plastics and intended for food contact respect the requirements of Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004.


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