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FCM (Food Contact Materials) sector

The FCM (food contact materials) sector carries out an extensively wide range of tests on packaging-food interaction, including the production phase and, therefore, food machines, but also any parts, instruments or objects that may come into contact with food.

MATRICES OR TESTS:

The main matrices we analyse are:

  • Plastic materials (single material, multilayer, multi-material multilayer)
  • Coating
  • Silicone
  • Rubber
  • Glass
  • Stainless steel
  • Tin plate
  • Ceramics
  • Aluminium

Furthermore, the laboratory analyses also other materials that are not specifically regulated such as: wood, marble, ferrous alloys, copper and its alloys, other metals and alloys

MAIN TESTS:

  • Food contact conformity tests through global and/or specific migration analysis on various materials in compliance with applicable legislation
  • Organoleptic tests
  • Technological suitability tests
  • Risk assessments
  • SET-OFF effect assessment

REGULATORY FRAMEWORK:

The main regulations for the FCM sector are reported below:

  • REGULATION (EC) No. 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food and repealing Directives 80/590/EEC and 89/109/EEC
  • REGULATION (EU) No. 10/2011 OF THE COMMISSION OF 14 January 2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food
  • Italian Ministerial Decree 21 March 1973 Sanitary regulation of packaging, containers and equipment intended to come into contact with foodstuffs or with substances for personal use.
  • REGULATION (EC) No. 2023/2006 OF THE COMMISSION of 22 December 2006 on good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food
  • In addition to other specific regulations for single materials.

EQUIPMENT:

  • gas-chromatography (especially with different kinds of mass spectrometers),
  • gas-chromatography with flame ionisation detector (FID)
  • liquid chromatography (HPLC/MS Q-TOF),
  • soxhlet extractors
  • UV-VIS spectrophotometer

SOME OF OUR SPECIFIC SERVICES

Bisphenol a: are you sure of your fcm?

Being sure that food contact materials in paper and cardboard comply with current regulations and good manufacturing practices (GMP) is essential!

In the FCM sector, one of the chemicals that has been and continues to be most highly discussed at European level is Bisphenol A, or BPA.
Bisphenol A is a chemical substance used for producing polycarbonate plastics (PC), epoxy resins and other polymeric materials, as well as for manufacturing certain paper products. PC is used for making food and beverage containers such as plastic dishes (plates and cups), microwave cookware, cooking utensils, water tanks and PC-coated teats. BPA-based epoxy phenolic resins are employed as protective coatings for beverage cans and tin cans for food, and as coating on residential tanks for drinking water storage. BPA is also used in a range of non-food applications such as epoxy resin based paints, medical devices, surface coatings, printing inks and flame retardants. A widespread application of BPA regards the thermal paper used for cash receipts. It can also be found in house dust as a result of contact and abrasion of epoxy based floors, adhesives, paints, electronic equipment and printed circuits.

The use of BPA in food contact materials is authorised in the European Union pursuant to Regulation 10/2011/EU on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has carried out various risk assessments and revisions of the scientific information regarding BPA which has been available over the years, and continues to do so.

In this dynamic scenario, Ecol Studio supports Italian and European companies in assessing the risks associated with FCM through testing, consulting and training services. The expertise of Ecol Studio’s staff guarantees access to an up-to-date knowledge of regulations, both current and being developed, with the competitive advantage of being aware of the changes that are being implemented to safeguard brand identity and encourage sustainable business growth, in a complex and dynamic context such as the Food Contact Materials sector.

For years, Ecol Studio has been supporting companies in the development of customised and specific analytical plans, using analytical techniques and highly sensitive and accurate instrumentation, which allow us to determine substances such as BPA at ever lower levels. This makes us increasingly competitive on the market and helps us stay abreast of any rapid changes in sector legislation.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Purchase of increasingly sophisticated equipment and ongoing staff training in order to set up analytical methods that meet our clients’ needs and the regulatory and scientific developments in the sector.

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