Food and Health E-ssentials

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EU Commission expands use of specific plastic in food contact packaging

The Commission of the European Union (EU) has taken action to expand the use of a specific substance in food packaging and packaging material.

The substance, poly((R)-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-(R)-3-hydorxyhexanoate, is a food contact material (FCM substance No 1059) currently authorised under Commission Regulations to be used either alone or blended with other polymers in packaging that comes in contact with dry or solid foods. However, recent studies have resulted in a more favourable scientific opinion of the substance. 

As a result, under the scope of a new Commission Regulation published in early August in the Official Journal of the European Union, the approved use of FCM substance No 1059 has now been extended for use in food packaging materials intended for use in all foods, either alone in or combination with other polymers, for periods of up to six months. 

The FCM substance can now also be used in packaging materials for periods of six months or longer, provided that the packaging remains at or below room temperature (not including what the Regulation terms “hot fill” or “short heating up” phases). In such cases, the Regulation establishes a limit on the migration of oligomers from such packaging. 

The full text of the Regulation pertaining to FCM substance No 1059 as published in the Official Journal is available here. You can also find more information on this regulatory update in our Consumer Products & Retail E-ssentials.

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