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Migration of Substances from Plastic Food Contact Materials into Foods and Food Simulants

SpecialChem / Jan 5, 2005

In European Union (EU) countries every year more than 10 million tons of plastics are used for packaging, of which up to 50% are used in food packaging. Different types of Polyethylenes (PE's) and Polypropylenes (PP's) make up to of the plastics used as food contact materials. The rest is covered mainly by Polystyrenes (PS's), Polyethylenetherephthalate (PET), plastified Polyvinylchloride (PVC's) and Polyamides (PA's). The polymeric resins themselves are produced across the EU in a quite limited number of large scale plants, involving only relatively few workplaces. The conversion of these resins into different types of plastic food contact materials involves the use of certain additives (antioxidants, stabilizers, pigments, plastifiers, etc.) in the framework of specific manufacturing procedures. This is done in the EU by a highly fragmented and specialised industry where several hundred of thousands of workplaces are involved. Finally in the framework of the food (packaging) industry the plastic materials are used to package/wrap food products.

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