Materials and particles derived from production, storage, processing and preparation are called Food Contact Materials (FCMs). FCMs are widely used in everyday life in food packaging and wrapping, cookware, cutlety, food containers, work surfaces, coffee machines etc.
QACS lab ensures consumer & food safety by performing consultancy & state-of-the-art analytical Packaging Migration testing services. Food Contact Material testing is based on relevant National, European and Global Regulations.
We test: Active and Intelligent materials, Adhesives, Ceramics / Glass, Metal and alloys, Paper and board, Plastics, Recycled materials, Regenerated cellulose, Rubbers, Silicones, Varnishes and coatings etc.
Food Packaging Migration services
Food packaging is of high importance because it protects from physical damage, soiling, and microbial spoilage. However, chemical migration from packaging & materials into food may potentially harm human health. Plastics are the most versatile and popular material used in the manufacturing of food packaging and other FCMs. EU Regulation 10/2011 establishes the specific rules for plastics to be applied for their safe use when coming into contact with foodstuffs.
The best way to ensure regulatory compliance is to measure the Overall Migration by analytical methods using standard EN 1186 series and compare the result with the migration limit from 10/2011 Regulation (article 12).
QACS Lab provides Overall migration based on EN 1186 standards with accreditation by ESYD making our labs your testing partner for migration tests. Overall Migration testing provided with all food simulants (A, B, C, D1, D2, Ε).
Specific migration is the amount of a specific component migrating from food contact materials to the food during packaging, storage, transportation etc. (EC) 10/2011 Specific migration limit refers to the maximum permitted amount of a given substance released from materials into food or food simulants.
QACS Labs (accredited by 17025) provide specific migration analysis not only for all the EN 13130 standards but also plasticizers, plastic additives and many others REACH substances. Some examples of specific migration we can provide in our lab are: Bisphenol A, 1,3 butadiene, ethyleneglycol, terepthalic acid, caprolactam and phthalates, Primary aromatic amines, Acetaldehyde, Formaldehyde/Melamine, mineral oils, PAHs etc.
With increasing complexity of FCMs, NIAS screening facilitate the detection and identification of chemicals which have not been added for a technical reason during the production process. NIAS are not limited to plastics but also occur in all other non-plastic FCMs. Recycling products especially, may contain several unknown contaminants in FCMs. NIAS screening consists of organic volatile substances screening, inorganic elements screening, semi-volatile substances by organic extraction as well as multi-residual screening for the detection of non-volatile substances by comparison with a database of organic substances.
Set-off occurs when printed surfaces of packaging material come into contact with the food which may occur during stacking or rolling of food contact materials that are printed on the outside. Set-oﬀ migration occurs when printed ﬁlm foil is stored in rolls or when paper cups are stacked on top of each other.
- acc. to EU 94/62 (CrVI, Pb, Hg, Cd) for the Environment
- acc. to Greek Legislation for paper & board (Pb, Hg, Cd)
- acc. to BfR for paper and board (Pb, Hg, Cd, Al)
- acc. to Greek Legislation for metals and alloys
- CM / Res (2013) 9 for metal and alloys
- acc. to EU Reg. 10/2011 for plastic articles
- acc. to 84/500/EEC (Cd, Pb) Ceramic articles
Sensory inertness of FCM is a demand of the framework regulation (EC) 1935/2004. The aim of the test is to investigate whether contact between food and packaging materials leads to organoleptic alterations of food characteristics. QACS provides consulting services and trained testing panels to control and detect possible alterations based on DIN 10955 and EN 1230: 2009.
Changes in mechanical properties may affect packaging performance. ERGANAL Labs provide Physical and Mechanical testing services to ensure that packaging properties remain intact. Testing can be provided in addition to other packaging testing services or individually.
- Identification of materials, coatings and raw materials by infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
- Determination of glass transition, melting and crystallization temperatures of polymers
- Oxygen and moisture permeability
- Microwave Suitability-Microwave Safe Test Cooking test
Changes in mechanical properties could provoke alterations in packaging performance. Food Packaging can undergo mechanical testing both before and after stability studies in order to verify possible changes in mechanical properties throughout all stages of food manufacture. To increase packaging safety we perform:
- Barrier tests to indicate the permeability of gases and evaluate the quality of packaged cosmetics.
- Tensile strength tests to determine the maximum load to be applied on a packaging material before its breakage or disintegration point.
- Resistance to packaging strain
- Delamination force
- Flexural strength
- Tear resistance
- Puncture resistance
- Sensory Analysis
- Freeze test
Materials we test are plastics &
With consumer health protection the top priority, Paper and Board safety are of significant importance. Paper and board products have a wide range of food contact applications: as tea bags, baking papers, filters, beverage cartons, sacks, packaging for dry and frozen foods, including transport and distribution packaging as well as tissue products.
QACS labs follow National and European guidelines to ensure consumer protection based on food packaging analysis. Our lab provides a variety of specific migration tests following National Legislations and BfR recommendations such as: Determination of grammage and dry matter, Color fastness, Fastness of fluorescent brightener, Primary aromatic amines/ Azo Dyes, Formaldehyde, Pentachlorophenol, Glyoxal, MOSH & MOAH.
Metals and alloys are used in Food Contact Materials in food processing equipment, containers and household utensils as well as in foil used to wrap food. Our Lab follows the technical guide CM/Res(2013)9 for Metals and alloys used in food contact materials and articles and complies with the specific release limits (SRLs) expressed in mg/kg. In case of polymer coated FCM, the overall and specific migration can be used for the compliance following EU Regulation 10/2011 and article 28 of Food and Drinks Code.
Directive 84/500/EEC concerns the possible migration of lead and cadmium from ceramic articles which in their finished state are intended to come into contact with foodstuffs or which are in contact with foodstuffs, and are intended for that purpose.
At QACS we perform all necessary packaging testing to ensure that materials and articles produced from recycled plastics and intended for food contact respect the requirements of Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004.
European Commission established a harmonized legal EU framework, Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 for all FCMs. This regulation includes general safety requirements for the manufacturing (GMP), procession and a few secondary legal acts laying down specific regulations (China products, Epoxy resins etc) and specific materials (Recycled plastics, Ceramics etc) plus labeling and traceability. As a result, all FCMs should be sufficiently inert and should not transfer constituents to food in quantities that could endanger human health, bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or a deterioration of its organoleptic characteristic.