How to monitor plastic packaging materials for foo

2022-08-15
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Facing food safety: how to monitor plastic packaging materials

the development and industrialization of synthetic resin materials in the 20th century has made plastic packaging materials obtain unprecedented development. At the same time, plastic materials have also become the most important packaging materials for food packaging

plastic food packaging has the following characteristics:

1 It is widely used, from fresh food to instant cooked food, from grain to meat, from monomer packaging to transportation packaging, from solid food to liquid food, covering the whole industrial chain of food production, processing and sales, and has become a part of the food industry itself

2. There are many kinds of packaging forms, such as trays, containers, hoses, woven bags, single-layer plastic films, multi-layer composite films and so on

3. The conditions of using plastic packaging are different, including cold storage, microwave heating, high-temperature cooking, etc

4. The inner packaging of food in direct contact is the main form of packaging, and the contents of the packaging have a wide variety of components

5. There are many kinds of plastics used in packaging, and the chemical composition of the products is extremely complex

faced with such a deep integration with the food industry, the potential health and safety risks of plastic packaging can not be ignored, and it is an important part of our current food safety control system

the following is a brief analysis of the potential safety risks of major plastic packaging materials:

the first category is plastic container packaging materials. Common plastic containers for food packaging mainly include polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, etc. the safety risks of container packaging are mainly plastic processing aids, such as plasticizers, antioxidants, etc., and functional aids, such as antistatic agents, colorants, etc. These processing aids migrate to food, residual monomers and catalysts in plastic production migrate to food, and products of thermal decomposition and aging in plastic processing migrate to food. These migrations have caused food safety hazards

the second type is single-layer plastic film materials. Common single-layer plastic food packaging films are mainly polyethylene, polypropylene, cellophane, etc., and their safety risks are similar to container packaging

the third category is plastic composite packaging materials. Composite packaging materials have become the most important form of food packaging due to their colorful, different forms and complete functions. The composite packaging materials use a wide range of materials and complex processes, which brings the most potential safety hazards and is the most difficult to control

there are four problems:

first, the migration of residual monomers, various additives and low molecular substances produced in the processing of plastic materials

second, the solvent residues brought about by plastic printing, especially ketone and benzene solvents, heavy metals in inks, and the structural capacity of various portal UTM experimental machines can reach 1000~135000lb agents

third, the solvent residues brought by composite adhesives and AC agents, especially the free isocyanate content of polyurethane adhesives and aromatic primary amines (PAA) produced by the reaction of Aromatic isocyanates with water in aromatic isocyanate polyurethane adhesives. Dispersing agent, end capping agent and protective agent in the production of waterborne or alcohol soluble polyurethane

fourth, smooth powder spraying in bag making and extrusion processes

the migration of these packaging materials into food during contact with food has brought great food safety problems

in addition to the safety hazards caused by the above packaging materials themselves and processing, the products may also be subject to secondary pollution during transportation, storage and use. The management loopholes caused by the mixed production of food and non food packaging materials by some manufacturers also bring corresponding risks

at present, our country has not achieved effective monitoring on the plastic packaging of food, resulting in great potential safety hazards

the equipment of large travel is not all used for the detection of flexible packaging materials. Therefore, we must systematically monitor the plastic food packaging materials to ensure the safety of the products, or we need to adjust the control parameters of the experimental machine (i.e. the conventional P, I, D parameters) at any time. The author suggests that: first, a material safety database must be established, according to which legislation, which materials can be used in food packaging, which chemical additives can be used in food packaging materials, which materials can be used in direct contact with food packaging, and what is the maximum value of migration to food. Secondly, we should formulate corresponding test method standards. Third, monitor the raw materials, production process, finished products, storage, transportation and use of food packaging materials in the whole process. At least retrospective control should be implemented, so as to maximize the cost savings and effectively control the safety of plastic food packaging

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