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Special Issue "Food Packaging Materials"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Roland Franz
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Department Product Safety and Analytics, Freising, Germany
Interests: food contact materials: migration testing and modelling – compliance – safety – consumer exposure; food packaging polymers – oligomers - polymer additives – nanocomposites – contaminants – non-intentionally added substances (NIAS); functional barriers for organic molecules: permeation testing and prediction; microplastics
Dr. Frank Welle
Website1 Website2 SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Department Product Safety and Analytics, Freising, Germany
Interests: food contact materials: migration testing; permeation testing and diffusion and modelling; diffusion of substances in polymers; non-intentionally added substances (NIAS); functional barrier testing
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food packaging uses a large variety of materials and components and comprises many packaging types, articles and applications. We are talking about films, wraps, bottles, pouches, cans, cups, closures, lids, labels, paper and board-based articles, coatings, laquers, print and others. In many cases these materials and items are intended for direct contact with foodstuffs. On the other hand, as in the case of multi-layer structures and secondary packaging, food is not in direct contact with the packaging. Besides longstanding conventional food packaging applications, innovations have entered (and still continuously do) the market: active and informative packaging, smart and intelligent approaches, as well as nano-enabled functional packaging solutions.
What all these packaging or food contact scenarios have in common is the following:

- They have to comply with the EU Framework Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 (or other analogous regulations in other countries and domains) and in particular with Article 3, which essentially requires that substances do not migrate into foods at unacceptable levels posing a potential health risk to the consumer.

- In all cases, molecules are involved. They are either intentionally used, added or generated to manufacture food contact materials or show up non-intentionally in the food contact material (FCM) due to chemical reactions or as impurity residues.

It is clear that all migrants are molecules but, on the other hand, it is also true that all molecules present in FCMs are not necessarily migrants. The question of whether or not a molecule will become a migrant and transfer into foods depends on its physical–chemical characteristics, the material type and structure of the used FCM, the time–temperature conditions applied during packaging manufacture and thereafter during food contact until end of shelf-life. Further aspects such as: (i) migration processes for single use versus repeat use applications; (ii) clearly defined FCM surface-to-food volume ratios versus undefined ratios as in the case of kitchen utensils; (iii) direct contact versus indirect contact including printing ink set-off; and (iv) others, are further complicating factors.
As a result of modern requirements driven by circular economy policies, bio-based and biodegradable packaging materials may require specific considerations to fulfil the abovementioned Article 3 of the EU Framework Regulation. In this context, the recycling of FCM into new food contact applications deserves increased attention going beyond the already achieved level of the well-established PET bottle-to-bottle recycling.
The objective of this Special Issue is to compile the latest works and progress concerning the migration of molecules from food contact materials in light of the aspects mentioned above and in an effort to highlight and discuss the underlying analytical and physico-chemical achievements. Approaches to predictive migration evaluation as well as the toxicological profiling of migrating molecules and risk assessment represent additional essential scientific aspects and are highly welcome as complementary studies towards the safety-in-use of food packaging materials.


Dr. Roland Franz
Dr. Frank Welle
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Food contact materials
  • Polymer additives
  • Food packaging safety
  • Compliance
  • Migration testing and prediction
  • Diffusion modelling
  • Chemical analysis
  • Consumer exposure
  • Risk assessment

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Dialkylketones in Paperboard Food Contact Materials—Method of Analysis in Fatty Foods and Comparative Migration into Liquid Simulants Versus Foodstuffs
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 915; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25040915 - 18 Feb 2020
Abstract
Dialkyl diketene dimers are used as sizing agents in the manufacture of paper and board for food contact applications to increase wetting stability. Unbound residues can hydrolyze and decarboxylate into dialkylketones. These non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) have potential to migrate to fatty foods [...] Read more.
Dialkyl diketene dimers are used as sizing agents in the manufacture of paper and board for food contact applications to increase wetting stability. Unbound residues can hydrolyze and decarboxylate into dialkylketones. These non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) have potential to migrate to fatty foods in contact with those packaging materials. In Germany, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) established a specific migration limit (SML) of 5 mg/kg for the transfer of these dialkylketones into foodstuffs. In order to investigate the differences between simulants and real foods, an analytical method was optimized for extraction and quantification of dialkylketones in edible oils and fatty foods by gas chromatography coupled with flame ionization detection (GC-FID), and additionally by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC-MS), to confirm their identification and to quantify them in case of interferences. Dialkylketones are separated from the extracted fat by alkaline saponification of the triglycerides. Dialkylketones migration from paper-based food contact articles into organic solvents isooctane and dichloromethane, in olive and sunflower oils, and in fatty foods (croissants, Gouda, cheddar cheese, and salami was studied). As a result, it was found that the simulating tests, including the edible oil extraction tests, gave migration values that exceeded the SML largely, while the migration with the food samples were largely below the SML. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Packaging Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Simultaneous Quantitative Analysis of Six Isothiazolinones in Water-Based Adhesive Used for Food Contact Materials by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometry (HPLC–MS/MS)
Molecules 2019, 24(21), 3894; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24213894 - 29 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, a target analytical approach using high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC–MS/MS) was developed to simultaneously determine six isothiazolinones containing 2-Methylisothiazol-3(2H)-one (MI), 5-Chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (CMI), 1,2-benzisothiazolin-3-one (BIT), 2-Octyl-3(2H)-isothiazolinone (OIT), Dichlorooctylisothiazolinone (DCOIT), and 2-methyl-1,2-benzisothiazolin-3-one (MBIT) in water-based adhesive used for food contact materials. [...] Read more.
In this study, a target analytical approach using high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC–MS/MS) was developed to simultaneously determine six isothiazolinones containing 2-Methylisothiazol-3(2H)-one (MI), 5-Chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (CMI), 1,2-benzisothiazolin-3-one (BIT), 2-Octyl-3(2H)-isothiazolinone (OIT), Dichlorooctylisothiazolinone (DCOIT), and 2-methyl-1,2-benzisothiazolin-3-one (MBIT) in water-based adhesive used for food contact materials. The main factors affecting extraction efficiency such as extraction method, extraction time, extraction solvent, and solid–liquid ratio have been evaluated by using real adhesive samples. Multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM) was used for the qualitative and quantitative analyses of targeted isothiazolinones. This method was demonstrated as an effective and reliable technique for detecting multiple isothiazolinones with satisfactory recoveries (81.5~107.3%), and the limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) were obtained at a low level. This method was validated and applied to the determination of six isothiazolinones in commercial water-based adhesives. The present results revealed that these adhesives contained a combination of isothiazolinones (BIT, MI, CMI, and MBIT) with the concentration ranging from 2.27 to 123.5 mg/kg. To our knowledge, it is the first time it has been reported that MBIT was detected in water-based adhesives used for food contact materials, which requires a further investigation for its migration to food and the risk to human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Packaging Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Migration Studies of Two Common Components of UV-curing Inks into Food Simulants
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3607; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193607 - 07 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has reported many cases of different UV curing inks components in foodstuffs during the last few years. These contaminants reach foodstuffs mainly by set-off, their principal migration mechanism from the package. Under this premise, [...] Read more.
The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has reported many cases of different UV curing inks components in foodstuffs during the last few years. These contaminants reach foodstuffs mainly by set-off, their principal migration mechanism from the package. Under this premise, this work has tried to characterize the process of migration of two common UV ink components: a photoinitiator (4-Methylbenzophenone) and a coinitiator (Ethyl-4-(dimethylamino) benzoate), from the most common plastic material used in food packaging low-density polyethylene (LDPE) into six different food simulants. The migration kinetics tests were performed at four different common storage temperatures, obtaining the key migration parameters for both molecules: the coefficients of diffusion and partition. The migration process was highly dependent on the storage conditions, the photoinitiator properties and the pH of the foodstuff. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Packaging Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification and Migration Studies of Photolytic Decomposition Products of UV-Photoinitiators in Food Packaging
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3592; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193592 - 06 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
UV-curable inks, coatings, and adhesives are being increasingly used in food packaging systems. When exposed to UV energy, UV-photoinitiators (PI’s) present in the formulations produce free radicals which catalyze polymerization of monomers and pre-polymers into resins. In addition to photopolymerization, other free radical [...] Read more.
UV-curable inks, coatings, and adhesives are being increasingly used in food packaging systems. When exposed to UV energy, UV-photoinitiators (PI’s) present in the formulations produce free radicals which catalyze polymerization of monomers and pre-polymers into resins. In addition to photopolymerization, other free radical reactions occur in these systems resulting in the formation of chemically varied photolytic decomposition products, many of which are low molecular weight chemical species with high migration potential. This research conducted model experiments in which 24 commonly used PI’s were exposed to UV-energy at the typical upper limit of commercial UV-printing press conditions. UV-irradiated PI’s were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and electrospray-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) in order to identify photolytic decomposition products. Subsequently, migration studies of 258 UV-cure food packaging samples were conducted using GC-MS; PI’s and photolytic decomposition products were found in nearly all samples analyzed. One hundred-thirteen photolytic decomposition products were identified. Eighteen intact PI’s and 21 photolytic decomposition products were observed as migrants from the 258 samples analyzed, and these were evaluated for frequency of occurrence and migratory concentration range. The most commonly observed PI’s were 2-hydroxy-2-methylpropiophenone and benzophenone. The most commonly observed photolytic decomposition products were 2,4,6-trimethylbenzaldehyde and 1-phenyl-2-butanone. This compilation of PI photolytic decomposition data and associated migration data will aid industry in identifying and tracing non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) in food packaging materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Packaging Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
The Ubiquitous Issue of Cross-Mass Transfer: Applications to Single-Use Systems
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3467; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193467 - 24 Sep 2019
Abstract
The leaching of chemicals by materials has been integrated into risk management procedures of many sectors where hygiene and safety are important, including food, medical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological applications. The approaches focus on direct contact and do not usually address the risk of [...] Read more.
The leaching of chemicals by materials has been integrated into risk management procedures of many sectors where hygiene and safety are important, including food, medical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological applications. The approaches focus on direct contact and do not usually address the risk of cross-mass transfer of chemicals from one item or object to another and finally to the contacting phase (e.g., culture medium, biological fluids). Overpackaging systems, as well as secondary or ternary containers, are potentially large reservoirs of non-intentionally added substances (NIAS), which can affect the final risk of contamination. This study provides a comprehensive description of the cross-mass transfer phenomena for single-use bags along the chain of value and the methodology to evaluate them numerically on laminated and assembled systems. The methodology is validated on the risk of migration i) of ϵ-caprolactam originating from the polyamide 6 internal layer of the overpackaging and ii) of nine surrogate migrants with various volatilities and polarities. The effects of imperfect contacts between items and of an air gap between them are particularly discussed and interpreted as a cutoff distance depending on the considered substance. A probabilistic description is suggested to define conservative safety-margins required to manage cross-contamination and NIAS in routine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Packaging Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Impact of Accelerated Migration Testing for Coated Food Cans Using Food Simulants
Molecules 2019, 24(17), 3123; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24173123 - 28 Aug 2019
Abstract
In this study, an accelerated migration test on food can coatings into food simulants was investigated. Food simulants covering a wide range of polarity were used to conduct migration tests at 60 °C with storage times ranging from 4 h to 30 days. [...] Read more.
In this study, an accelerated migration test on food can coatings into food simulants was investigated. Food simulants covering a wide range of polarity were used to conduct migration tests at 60 °C with storage times ranging from 4 h to 30 days. Epoxy-resins, acrylic–phenolic, polyester, and vinyl coatings were exposed to water, 3% acetic acid, 50% ethanol, and Miglyol 812®. Using liquid chromatography coupled to a variety of detectors (UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap-MS, UFLC-MS/MS, and HPLC-DAD), migration of several monomers and previously identified oligomers, as well as some unidentified migrants, were determined during the experiment. The data from this study was compared to our findings from previous long-term migration studies with storage times ranging from 24 h to 540 days at 40 °C using the same can coating applications. The results illustrate that performing migration experiments for short time periods at 60 °C may mimic migration results that would be obtained at 40 °C after long-term migration tests (up to 1.5 years) from food can coatings into food simulants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Packaging Materials)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Analytical Approaches for Analysis of Safety of Modern Food Packaging: A Review
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030752 - 10 Feb 2020
Abstract
Nowadays, food packaging is a crucial tool for preserving food quality and has become an inseparable part of our daily life. Strong consumer demand and market trends enforce more advanced and creative forms of food packaging. New packaging development requires safety evaluations that [...] Read more.
Nowadays, food packaging is a crucial tool for preserving food quality and has become an inseparable part of our daily life. Strong consumer demand and market trends enforce more advanced and creative forms of food packaging. New packaging development requires safety evaluations that always implicate the application of complex analytical methods. The present work reviews the development and application of new analytical methods for detection of possible food contaminants from the packaging origin on the quality and safety of fresh food. Among food contaminants migrants, set-off migrants from printing inks, polymer degradation products, and aromatic volatile compounds can be found that may compromise the safety and organoleptic properties of food. The list of possible chemical migrants is very wide and includes antioxidants, antimicrobials, intentionally added substances (IAS), non-intentionally added substances (NIAS), monomers, oligomers, and nanoparticles. All this information collected prior to the analysis will influence the type of analyzing samples and molecules (analytes) and therefore the selection of a convenient analytical method. Different analytical strategies will be discussed, including techniques for direct polymer analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Packaging Materials)
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