Study of the stability and reactivity of migrant components of printing inks and adhesives used for packing of foodstuffs

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    Printing inks and adhesives used in packaging materials for foodstuffs include building blocks and by-products that can migrate to the foodstuff. Additionally, breakdown or reaction products can also be present. Migrant components can react with the food simulants used in the migration tests. In this project we study the migration of components from printing inks and adhesives and study the reaction kinetics of the formation of breakdown or reaction products examined in typical food simulants. Validation of the kinetic models we develop are executed with laminated/printed packaging foils. This research should lead to knowledge relating to the stability of migrant ink and glue components, to accurately assess potential risks to public health.

    Research approach
    How stable are migrant components from printing inks and adhesives from packaging materials to foodstuffs? 1. We first make an inventory of components that can migrate from adhesives and printing inks. We derive from their chemical properties whether they may be reactive or unstable in official food simulant (under lighted conditions or in the dark). 2. For unstable components, we characterize the breakdown or reaction products in the following food simulants: water, 3% acetic acid, 10, 50 and 95% ethanol and MPPO. 3. We characterize the degradation (for unstable components) and the forming kinetics (for formed components) of these components in the various food simulants under different circumstances to draft kinetic models.   


    The complexity of the degradation reactions and possible low concentrations can make analytical detection difficult. Using NMR and other spectroscopic techniques, certain degradation components can be characterized in more detail. Synthesis/force tests can be done to increase the concentrations of the moulded components to enable structure determination. During extrusion of the foils, where selected glue components are laminated in certain concentrations, technical problems can arise. Valorization of research results of this project and of follow-up projects will be done in cooperation with both the prescriptive public services and the monitoring service through existing contacts with the High Council of Health (Hoge Gezondheidsraad) of the Federal Public Health Service (FOD Volksgezondheid), and national and European food safety councils (FAVV and EFSA).


    External partner(s)
    Ugent - Fac. Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen
    Effective start/end date15/03/1114/03/14