Food Packaging Barrier Solutions Against Mineral Oils for Food Packaging
BASF offers the packaging industry a variety of barrier solutions that demonstrate a high effectiveness in preventing mineral oil residues from migrating from cardboard food packaging into food. Mineral oil residues in food packaging pose a potential threat for the consumers' health.
Ludwigshafen/Germany – The protective effect of the new coatings was confirmed by a series of studies conducted by the official Food Safety Authority of the Canton of Zurich on the BASF products Ultramid, Epotal A 816, Ecovio FS Paper and specially developed dispersions. In 2010, a study by Zurich Food Safety Authority scientists using a dedicated measuring method had detected alarming levels of mineral oil residues from cardboard packaging in food. The same method was used in the testing of the BASF products.
Oil Residues in Food Packaging Suspected to Pose a Serious Threat for the Consumer's Health
Cardboard packaging is usually made of recycled paper that contains mineral oil residues from printing inks. At temperatures as low as room temperature, these residues evaporate and are deposited on dried foods packaged in the box, including pasta, semolina, rice, and breakfast cereals. Most of the plastic linings in the bag-in-box systems in use today do not provide sufficient protection. Analyses by the official Food Safety Authority of the Canton of Zurich from 2010 have shown that the evaporated mineral oils consist of about 80% paraffin and naphthene hydrocarbons and 15% to 20% aromatic hydrocarbons. Animal studies carried out by various organizations over the last years show that paraffin and naphthene hydrocarbons are highly likely to damage the liver, lymph nodes and heart valves, and the Joint FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) / WHO (World Health Organization) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) has implicated aromatic hydrocarbons in causing cancer.
BASF offers coating solutions for most types of food packaging, including paper, cardboard and film. Recent Swiss researches approve the effect of these packaging methods. “During the tests, cardboard, paper and films were coated with materials from BASF and the results show that the migration of mineral oil residues was considerably decelerated. The time measured were far beyond the sell-by dates of the food products normally packaged in such materials,” said Heiko Diehl, member of BASF’s Packaging Network Team.