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Migration of nanoparticles from plastic packaging materials containing carbon black into foodstuffs

Bott, Johannes, Störmer, Angela, Franz, Roland
Food additives & contaminants 2014 v.31 no.10 pp. 1769-1782
foods, detection limit, fractionation, light scattering, packaging materials, polystyrenes, industry, packaging materials migration, models, food packaging, European Union, carbon, polyethylene, nanoparticles
Carbon black was investigated to assess and quantify the possibility that nanoparticles might migrate out of plastic materials used in the food packaging industry. Two types of carbon black were incorporated in low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and polystyrene (PS) at 2.5% and 5.0% loading (w/w), and then subjected to migration studies. The samples were exposed to different food simulants according to European Union Plastics Regulation 10/2011, simulating long-term storage with aqueous and fatty foodstuffs. Asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation (AF4) coupled to a multi-angle laser light-scattering (MALLS) detector was used to separate, characterise and quantify the potential release of nanoparticles. The AF4 method was successful in differentiating carbon black from other matrix components, such as extracted polymer chains, in the migration solution. At a detection limit of 12 µg kg ⁻¹, carbon black did not migrate from the packaging material into food simulants. The experimental findings are in agreement with theoretical considerations based on migration modelling. From both the experimental findings and theoretical considerations, it can be concluded that carbon black does not migrate into food once it is incorporated into a plastics food contact material.