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Legal requirements for plastic materials and articles that come into direct contact with food

Key words: 

safety of food contact materials, plastic packaging, legal requirements, migration, sensory analysis.


All food contact materials (FCMs) should not release chemical compounds (solid and volatile) into food in the amounts that may be harmful to human health. Law regulations concerning the problem of the safety of food contact packaging pertain not only to plastics, but also to ceramics, glass, metals, paper and cardboard, printing inks, waxes and wood. The presented paper includes the elaboration of legal requirements for the permission for use of plastic materials and articles that come into contact with food, both during storage and processing, as well as filling and consumption. We described the phenomenon of overall and specific migration, methods of examining it, including the possibility of the application of the theoretical models of estimating the migration size and the legal basis for the requirements in this respect. We also discussed sensory tests for FCMs and presented some examples of substances from packaging that may change the organoleptic properties of food. We referred to regulations concerning processing safety and recycling plastics intended to come into contact with food.  The summary includes the elements of the declaration of conformity and supporting documents accompanying new or processed products and materials in accordance with Article 16 of EC/1935/2004. 

Dr. Eng. Karolina WISZUMIRSKA

Poznan University of Economics and Business 

Faculty of Commodity Science

Department of Commodity Science and Ecology  of Industrial Products

al. Niepodległości 10, 61-875 Poznan, Poland  e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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