Migration testing for metals and alloys in contact with foodstuffs

DEFINITION AND REGULATIONS
 
Are defined as "materials in contact" (MOCA) materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (cooking utensils and tableware such as pots, cutlery, plates and cups, containers and containers, film-sheets etc). This term also indicate the materials and objects that are in contact with water, with the exception of fixed public or private water supply.
The materials and articles intended to come into contact with food are to be governed by national measures (in Italy: Decree of the Minister of Health of 21 March 1973) and Community (Council Regulation (EC) n. 1935/2004 - Council Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011).
 
With Regulation (EC) n. 2023/2006 all materials and articles listed in Annex I of the Regulation no. 1935/2004 and their combinations, as well as recycled materials and articles should be manufactured in compliance with the general and specific rules on good manufacturing practice, as defined in English as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). In view of the fact that not all sectors of industry have established GMP guidelines the aim of the provision in question is to ensure consistency among the Member States. Therefore, similarly to what happens in the food industry, companies that perform activities related to any stage of production, processing and distribution of materials and articles must establish a system of quality control. Operators must be able to demonstrate that their products comply with Regulation (EC) n. 1935/2004, which are suitable for food contact through laboratory testing.
 
 
WHAT MATERIALS AND HOW?
 
The EC Regulation n. 1935/2004 stipulates that all MOCA must be produced in accordance with good manufacturing practices and, in normal or foreseeable conditions of use, shall not transfer to food in quantities which could:
constitute a danger to human health
unacceptable change in the composition of the food
cause a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics.
This regulation applies to all types of materials but does not specify which tests should be performed to demonstrate lidoneità. It is therefore necessary then see the individual national laws, but these are only for certain types of materials.
According to the D.M. of 21 March 1973, are regulated in a specific manner the following materials:
 
plastics (also now regulated by the EC N.10/2001)
rubber
regenerated cellulose
paper and cardboard
glass
inox  steel.

Other materials, not included in the Ministerial Decree of 21 March 1973, but have specific tests are:

white latten (DM 405, DM 02/18/1984 and 13/07/1995)
chrome strip painted (D.M 243, 01.06.1988)
ceramics (Ministerial Decree of 04/04/1985)
aluminum (Ministerial Decree n.76 of 18/04/2007)

For all other types of materials necessary to refer only to the EC Regulation n. 1935/2004 and try in some way to provide evidence of the suitability for contact with food such as food testing directly after contact.
For materials regulated instead the tests to be performed are of composition and / or disposal.
For some materials it is sufficient to know the chemical composition (eg aluminum) for others it is necessary to determine also the global and specific migration through release test with an appropriate simulant, conditions of time and temperature (eg inox steel, ceramics, plastics, rubbers, etc.).
 
 
In TEC Eurolab we are already able to give the idonità for food contact materials ALUMINIUM (we accreditation) as it is sufficient to provide the chemical composition of the material. We are also able to fully run the tests on stainless steel materials and ceramic.
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