One important aspect within the European Union's public health care is the exposure of the European consumer to undesirable chemicals in the diet. Food contact materials (FCM) are one potential contamination source and therefore of particular interest for food exposure assessments. On the other hand, scientific investigations concerning the migration potential and behaviour of food packaging materials have demonstrated that diffusion in and migration from FCM are foreseeable physical and, in principle, mathematically describable processes. The project aim therefore is to provide a novel and economic tool for estimation of consumer exposure to chemicals migrating from food contact plastic materials by establishing a physico-chemical migration model that can mathematically describe the migration processes from plastics into actual foodstuffs under any actual contact conditions.
- To establish a physico-chemical migration model that describes mathematically the migration processes from plastics into actual foodstuffs under any actual contact conditions.
- To provide with this model a novel and highly economic tool for estimation of consumer exposure to chemicals migrating from plastics FCM.
- The model will be applicable for exposure estimations in different ways:
- A stand alone tool to estimate exposure related migration within the conventional frame conditions of the EU food regulatory evaluation system and thus applying a worst case exposure scenario;
- in conjunction with statistical data obtained from food consumption and plastics packaging surveys to estimate realistic or worse-case exposure for any situation of interest;
- Investigating the social acceptance of migration modelling versus chemical measurements, and its implications for exposure estimation.
The project will to provide a new versatile and rapid tool to estimate exposure from FCM. It will increase knowledge of the mechanisms of diffusion of organic compounds in foodstuffs. The project achievements will provide a scientific basis for further amendments of food packaging EU Directives 85/572/EEC as well as 90/128/EEC and allow quick and early compliance evaluation of food packaging plastics at the level of foodstuffs and make migration modelling transparent to the consumer.