European Testing

Food contact materials made from plastics are highly regulated and a central part of Framework Regulation EC (No.) 1935/2004. On 1 May 2011, Commission Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011 became effective and defined an array of specific requirements for plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

All plastic food contact materials (FCMs) sold, imported or manufactured in the EU must comply with the regulations (EC). Related testing needs to be done for plastic material.

  • Overall migration in 10% ethanol
  • Overall migration in 3% acetic acid
  • Overall migration in 20% ethanol
  • Overall migration in 50% ethanol
  • Overall migration in rectified olive oil or substitute of rectified olive oil
  • Overall migration in MPPO
  • Specific migration of primary aromatic amine in 3% acetic acid
  • Soluble heavy metals (Al,Sb,As,Ba,Cd,Cr,Co,Cu,Eu,Gd,Fe,La,Pb, Li,Mn,Hg,Ni,Tb,Zn,W) in 3% acetic acid
* LFGB ( Germany), besides above EU standard testing, the following additional testing will be required.
  • Sensory test
* DGCCRF (France), besides above EU standard testing, the following additional testing will be required.
  • Total BPA
* Italy, besides above EU standard testing, the following additional testing will be required.
  • Color migration in 3% acetic acid
  • Color migration in 10% ethanol
  • Color migration in 20% ethanol
  • Color migration in 50% ethanol
  • Color migration in sunflower oil

The USA standard Testing

Several plastics have made it onto the FDA approved materials list for food contact, and are used in food, beverage and medicine packaging you most likely already have in your home. While it's always important to follow specific guidelines related to food storage, temperature and recycling. The testing below are the main ones that need attention based on FDA standard.

Standard : FDA 21, CFR 170-189
  • Water extractives(wet or fatty foods except for alcoholic beverage)
  • 8% ethanol extractives(alcohol content <8%)
  • 50% ethanol extractives(alcohol content >8%)
  • n-heptane extractives(water in oil, or containing free oil or fat)
  • KMnO4 oxidizable extractive in water
  • KMnO4 oxidizable extractive in 8% ethanol
  • KMnO4 oxidizable extractive in 50% ethanol
  • Ultraviolet-absorbing in water
  • Ultraviolet-absorbing in 8% ethanol
  • Ultraviolet-absorbing in 50% ethanol
  • Ultraviolet-absorbing in n-heptane

AS (FDA 177.1040)(For Acrylonitrile;>45%)
  • Residual acrylonitrile monomer
  • Total nonvolatile extractives in water
  • Total nonvolatile extractives in 3% acetic acid

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Q & A :

  • Which Plastics are FDA Compliant?

    High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

    HDPE is the most common household plastic around, used to make beverage bottles, butter containers, cereal box liners and thicker food storage buckets. Recycled HDPE is reviewed by the FDA on a case-by-case basis, as it can sometimes become unsafe in the recycling process.

    Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

    LDPE is similar to HDPE, but tends to be less rigid, making it perfect for squeeze bottles or plastic film like cling wrap, six-pack rings and more. It is chemically resistant, repels microorganisms and doesn't leach harmful toxins when used to store food at a variety of temperatures. However, it is not deemed safe for food contact in a recycled state.

    Polycarbonate (PC)

    While there are concerns about bisphenol A (BPA) present in polycarbonate resin, the FDA has conducted numerous studies and concluded that the intake of BPA from plastic is very low and has no apparent negative effects on physical health. There are also specific FDA approved polycarbonate sheets available for all sorts of food applications, from hospital trays to water bottles.

    Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

    Any plastic jars and beverage containers in your home are most likely made from PET. This material is used in 2-liter soda bottles, peanut butter jars, salad dressing containers and more. While many plastics are only FDA compliant and food safe in their virgin (or unrecycled) state, recycled PET is an FDA approved plastic for food contact. It also repels microorganisms and doesn't corrode, making it an overall ideal material for food and beverage contact and storage.

    Polypropylene (PP)

    Polypropylene is most often used for single-serve containers like yogurt cups, but also shows up in reusable containers that can store leftovers. On top of being one of the FDA approved food contact materials, it's microwave safe and nonvolatile, meaning it will not react with any type of food you store in it, whether it's acidic, basic or liquid.