Mon, 11/27/2017 - 16:12

Packaging Materials Testing

Packaging is a core product component that can significantly influence quality and marketability. Consequently, retailer, consumer and regulatory needs and requirements for packaging are high.

We test packaging for labelling, functionality and chemical parameters.

Product Labelling

We verify that all required product labelling elements are present, correctly stated and comply with the specifications for size, placement and legibility according to the German Food Labelling Ordinance (LMKV) and EU Regulation No. 1169/2011 (Food Information Ordinance-LMIV).

Functionality

We check whether the packaging fulfills the desired functions for storing and protecting the product. This includes preservation and hygiene (vacuum, protective gas filling, tear/break resistance and microbial count). In addition, a sensory test of the food product can provide insight into whether the packaging influences the product with regard to its look, aroma, taste and feel.

Chemical Testing

We use chemical analysis to examine the packaging for substances that are not approved for use in materials with food contact or are only approved to specific threshold values. We also examine whether and in what amounts substances from the packaging migrate into the food or into food simulants, using methods defined in EU Directive 82/711/EWG (including the Amending Directive 97/48/EC) and EU Regulation No. 10/2011.

We test for:

  • Phthalates
    Phthalates are mostly used as plasticizers for plastics. In food packaging, phthalates are found in the seals of caps made from soft PVC (such as twist-off closures). Since phthalates do not bind with plastics, they easily migrate into the food, especially in high-fat products
  • ESBO
    Epoxidized soybean oil (ESBO) is used, like phthalates, as a plasticizer and stabilizer in PVC seals. Due to the lipophilicity of the substance, high-fat food products can be strongly impacted.
  • UV Printing Systems
    Photoinitiators, such as benzophenone, 4-methyl benzophenone and isopropylthioxanthone (ITX), are contained in printing ink and can transfer onto the packaged food product. We also examine compliance with the total migration threshold value according to EU Directive 82/711/EWG (including Amending Directive 97/48/EC) and EU Regulation No. 10/2011.
IR Spectroscopy

Using infrared spectroscopy (IR), we can test the composition of plastic packaging to define which materials are used. This examination can determine, for example, whether packaging contains halogens such as PVC.

Depending on the composition of the packaging, additional testing may be needed. Please contact us with your specific packaging analysis needs.

Contact

Matthias Brüderle
Food Equipment & Food Packaging
envelopembruederle@nsf.org