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Volatile non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) identified in recycled expanded polystyrene containers and their migration into food simulants

Song, Xue-Chao, Wrona, Magdalena, Nerin, Cristina, Lin, Qin-Bao, Zhong, Huai-Ning
Food packaging and shelf life 2019 v.20 pp. 100318
European Union, acetic acid, acetophenones, benzaldehyde, benzoic acid, chemometrics, containers, ethanol, ethylbenzene, food packaging, gas chromatography, health effects assessments, mass spectrometry, multivariate analysis, polystyrenes, quality control, recycled materials, resins, shelf life, solid phase microextraction, styrene, toxic substances, volatile organic compounds, xylene
Recycled materials such as expanded polystyrene (EPS) are increasing in the food market and some hazardous chemicals may exist in recycled PS resins. Therefore, a method of solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry followed by chemometric tools applied to the data obtained allowed the identification of markers for virgin and recycled EPS. The multivariate statistical analysis was developed to characterize the profile of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in virgin and recycled EPS containers, and identify the potential VOCs markers responsible for EPS containers discrimination. A total of 99 compounds were identified in virgin and recycled EPS containers. Among these, 17 compounds contributing the most to the discrimination, were selected based on their variables importance in the projection (VIP) values, including o-xylene, acetophenone, ethylbenzene, α-ethylstyrene, 2-phenylpropenal, propylbenzene, 2-phenyl-1-propene, undecanal, benzoic acid ethyl ester, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol, decanal, benzylcarboxaldehyde, isopropylbenzene, 2,4-diphenyl-1-butene, dodecanal, benzaldehyde and nonanal. To evaluate the health risk of EPS containers, migration tests from EPS containers into two food simulants (10% ethanol, 3% acetic acid) were conducted. It should be highlighted that high amount of styrene was detected. Nevertheless, analysed materials accomplish with current EU Regulation No.10/2011. The proposed method finds the differentiation markers and provides a reliable tool to discriminate virgin and recycled EPS containers, which could be an additional tool for quality control of EPS containers.