Fraunhofer IVV helps create new guidelines for assessing mineral oil migration into food

Worked on by the Technical University of Munich and several industry experts, as well as by the Fraunhofer team, the document aims to provide guidance for companies using or supplying board packaging. The intention is to help businesses in assessing the effectiveness either of existing packaging or proposed barrier solutions.
The guidelines, which are available in English as well as German, include an accessible analysis of the principles behind migration. They also provide a step-by-step process for developing and validating a package/food combination.
The procedure starts by outlining methods for ascertaining initial concentrations in food and packaging of the different types of mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH), both aromatic (MOAH) and saturated (MOSH). Other areas covered include: the various types of functional barrier; ways of evaluating migration over different periods and under different conditions (emphasising the importance of recreating realistic conditions), including accelerated testing; and numerical migration modelling.
Recycled paper and board commonly contain MOH, typically from printing inks used in newspapers. The risk is that potentially carcinogenic substances can migrate into foods from the packaging. Conventional methods for assessing risk were too inaccurate, says Fraunhofer IVV, and new approaches are needed.
The Industrial Research Community (IGF) project was sponsored by the German Food Industry Research Association (FEI) and financed by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The English-language version can be found here:
•In other news, Andrea Büttner, formerly deputy director of Fraunhofer IVV has been appointed director alongside existing director Horst-Christian Langowski, who is said to be delighted with the new dual leadership.
As an example of the need for a systematic approach to R&D, Büttner said in a statement: “It is of paramount importance to tackle the complex topic of a circular economy for plastics in a holistic way, starting already at the materials development stage and the packaging design phase. Due to economic and legislative constraints, alternative solutions for the packaging sector are especially urgent.”