Determination of the migration of plastic additives and non-intentionally added substances into food simulants and the assessment of health risks from convenience food packaging

Eun Chul Pack, Kyung Youn Lee, Jin Seop Jung, Dae Yong Jang, Hyung Soo Kim, Ye Ji Koo, Ho Geon Lee, Young Soon Kim, Kyung Min Lim, Seung Ha Lee, Dal Woong Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Convenience foods are currently popular among busy, modern consumers. However, the migration of plastics additives and non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) from packaging materials has raised concern about the potential health risks. The migration of nine compounds, including additives (butylated hydroxytoluene and 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol diisobutyrate), and NIAS that originated from additives degradation products (phenol, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol, acetophenone, 4-propylbenzaldehyde, 2,6-di-tert-butylbenzoquinone, 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol, and methyl-3-(3,5-ditertbutyl-4-hydroxyphenyl)) from convenience food packaging was evaluated in migration tests employing food simulants under real-life consumption and worst-case scenario conditions. Their migration level in the food simulants was quantified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Most of the compounds had a low frequency of detection and the detected compounds varied depending on the individual samples, regardless of the packaging materials. The worst-case migration tests showed that repetitive microwave heating considerably accelerated the migration and degradation of the additives due to polymer swelling, although a single microwave heating had little effect on the migration. Risk assessment confirmed that the current level of exposure of Korean consumers to the substances from convenience food packaging is unlikely to pose a health risk, even in the worst-case scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100736
JournalFood Packaging and Shelf Life
Volume30
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Convenience foods
  • Microwave
  • Migration tests
  • Packaging
  • Plastic additives

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