Summary and Info
For many years, Smithers Rapra has carried out research projects for the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA). This review report has, as its origin, an FSA project on coatings and inks that was carried out at Smithers Rapra from 2005 until 2007. The objective of this project was to assess the potential for the migration of substances from coatings and inks that were used in food packaging applications. As a significant amount of work had already been carried out on coatings that were in direct contact with food (e.g., can coatings), a boundary was set that only coatings and inks in non-direct food contact situations would be considered. As the scope of this review report is greater than the Smithers Rapra project and, due to the limitations of this particular format, it has only been possible to include some of the information that was acquired during the course of the FSA project. This report has attempted to cover all of the coatings and inks products used in food contact scenarios. Hence, direct and non-direct contact situations are included throughout the food chain, e.g., harvesting, processing, transportation, packaging and cooking. In practice, this encompasses an extremely wide range of polymer systems and formulations, and an emphasis has been placed on coatings and inks used in food packaging, as this is usually regarded as representing the most important application category with respect to the potential for migration to occur. With respect to food packaging, all three of the major material classes are covered, i.e., metal, paper and board, and plastic. In addition to a thorough introduction of the polymers and additives that are used to produce coatings and inks, there are also chapters covering the regulation of these materials, the migration and analytical tests that are performed on them to assess their suitability for food contact applications, the migration data that have been published, and the areas in the field that are receiving the most attention for research and development. This report is one of a series of three. A report summarising the current situation of the use of rubber products for food contact applications was published in 2006 and a report reviewing the use of silicone-based materials (including rubbers, resins and liquids) with food will be published by Smithers Rapra shortly. This report will be of interest to anyone who works with the packaging of food and beverages and also to those who are studying food packaging/processing. The review is accompanied by around 400 abstracts compiled from the Polymer Library, to facilitate further reading on this subject. A subject index and a company index are included.