In this study, the migration potential of laponite, a small synthetic nanoclay, from nanocomposites into foods was investigated. First, a laponite/ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) masterbatch was compounded several times and then extruded into thin low-density polyethylene (LDPE) based films. This way, intercalation and partial exfoliation of the smallest type of clay was achieved. Migration of laponite was investigated using Asymmetric Flow Field-Flow Fractionation (AF4) with Multi-Angle Laser Light Scattering (MALLS) detection. A surfactant solution in which laponite dispersion remained stable during migration test conditions was used as alternative food simulant. Sample films with different loadings of laponite were stored for 10 days at 60 °C. No migration of laponite was found at a limit of detection of 22 µg laponite per Kg food. It can be concluded that laponite (representing the worst case for any larger structured type of clay) does not migrate into food once it is incorporated into a polymer matrix.
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