Sunday, February 28, 2010


During the bygone canning era, leaching of excessive levels of tin, lead, arsenic, iron etc into the contents was a matter of great concern which led to coating of such containers with epoxy resins to prevent direct contact between the contents and the metallic body of the can. It is a another matter that these so called safe coatings became a source of concern due to Bis-phenol A ( BPA) tainting of the products packed in such cans. When plastics of different configuration became the major packaging material for food products, the migration of undesirable and unsafe chemicals into the food from the plastics became a serious issue leading to development of international safety standards for food grade plastics. But fast paced advances in packaging design and printing demanded many types of adhesives and multicolored printing inks to be used for improving the presentability. EU woke up to the possibility of dangers posed by such materials to the food recently and is currently investigating this aspect.

"The EFSA scientific cooperation (ESCO) working group has been formed in response a number of episodes in the last few years involving the migration of non-plastic contact materials into food - particularly chemicals in printing inks such as ITX, 4-methylbenzophenone and benzophenone said the body. The most high profile of these related to the tainting of breakfast cereal after packaging ink 4-methylbenzophenone leached into the food. The incidents prompted a Europe-wide investigation".

It is expected that with active cooperation and support of manufacturers of adhesives and printing inks that are used in plastics designed for food contact applications, a workable standard would be developed for compliance by the industry. This move on the part of EU speaks well of its commitments to consumer safety.

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