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The Role of Food Contact Materials in Safety Assessment

Access to nutritious, healthy, and safe food has always been of utmost importance to consumers worldwide. However, changes in food preparation and consumption indicate food packaging and contact materials also significantly contribute to providing safe food to consumers.

As a result, Food Contact Material Testing is subject to regulations in most major markets. These regulations ensure that materials and packaging that come in direct contact with food are not a source of harmful contaminants and provide protection against microorganisms, pests, and other contaminating agents.

What are Food Contact Materials?

Food contact materials (FCMs) are substances that come into direct or indirect contact with food during its manufacturing, processing, storage, preparation, or serving. The materials are used in many forms, which we will discuss further. The purpose of food contact materials is to preserve and protect the food, prevent contamination, and ensure food quality and safety.

Examples of common food contact materials

  • Food Packaging: It includes materials like plastic films, metal cans, paperboard cartons, and glass bottles used to protect and store food products.
  • Food Containers: These materials, such as plastic, aluminum foil, glass containers, and disposable plates or bowls, are used to hold or serve food.
  • Utensils: Kitchen tools, cutlery, and other utensils made from stainless steel, plastic, or wood that come in contact with food during preparation or serving.
  • Food Processing Equipment: Machinery and other equipment used in food processing units made from stainless steel, silicone, or food-grade plastics.
  • Food Coatings: Substances that coat or line food contact surfaces, such as non-stick coatings on cookware or wax coatings on certain vegetables and fruits.
  • Food Wrapping: Materials like plastic wrap or parchment paper are used directly on the food to protect it.

Food contact materials need to be safe and not include any harmful substances in the food they come in contact with. Many countries have regulations to ensure food contact materials meet specific safety standards. Companies must pass a Food Contact Material Testing through a trusted lab.

These standards specify safe materials and conditions for using them with food, reducing the risk of chemical migration and protecting public health.

Food Contact Materials Testing Services

HUAK Testing Technology Co. Ltd performs a complete range of food-grade tests on most food contact materials. The experts also conduct compositional analyses, microbiological tests, ingredient reviews, packaging adhesive tests, toxicology assessments, raw material tests, and more.

In addition to testing services, we can certify food contact materials per industry standards approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), like the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and FSSC 22000. If you want mandatory and voluntary inspection and auditing services to ensure compliance with applicable regulations or procurement requirements,

HUAK Testing Technology Co., Ltd offers extensive testing and certification for a range of food contact materials such as

  • Containers
  • Cutlery and dishes
  • Materials in contact with water for human consumption
  • Packaging materials
  • Processing machines

Food Contact Materials Regulatory Standards

Materials that come into contact with food, like packaging, crockery and cutlery, glassware, and storage containers, must be tested before they come into contact with food. Food contact material testing ensures that they are not harmful and do not transfer their constituents to the food in excessive quantities.

The testing works differently and according to other countries’ food contact materials regulations. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates legislation for food contact materials in the United States. California Proposition 65 specifically impacts ceramic and glass materials in California.

In the European Union (EU), various regulations govern food contact materials, including:

  • Framework Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 for all materials.
  • Directive 84/500/EEC (as amended by Directive 2005/31/EC) for ceramics.
  • Directive 2007/42/EC for regenerated cellulose film.
  • Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 and No 64/2011 for plastics.
  • Directive 93/11/EEC for nitrosamines.
  • Commission Regulation (EC) 1895/2005 for BADGE, BFDGE & NOGE plastics.

In Japan, materials must comply with the Food Sanitation Law part II.

Your Reliable Food Packaging Testing Partner

At HUAK Testing Technology Co. Ltd, we bring quality, safety, and sustainability to life. Trust us for the expertise and support for your food contact packaging development, from early-stage R&D to recycling. With the end-to-end total quality assurance proposition, we help organizations operate safely and effectively in this complex, fast-changing business world.

Contact us today for your Food Contact Material Testing requirements.