Chemicals Migrating from Food Contact Materials: European Regulations, Characterization and Human Exposure (An Overview)

Diana TOMA, Carmen SOCACIU


Food contact materials have high societal importance due to their influence on food quality and safety. In the food chain production, food matrix may interfere with many types of materials, particularly with food packaging. During the last decades, the concerns related to food packaging (especially plastics) and the migration of chemicals from food contact materials increased significantly, being affected by the nature and complexity of the food, the contact time and temperature, the type of food packaging material and the molecular size of the migrators. Some of these migrators are toxic and/or have endocrine disrupting activity. This overview reveals recent data (since 2015) about food contact materials as a source of food chemical contamination, their compliance in Europe, the analytical characterization of chemicals migrating from food contact materials as well the human exposure to such chemicals. There are mentioned the most recent scientific articles and experimental data on these topics, available from official, public reports or web sources. The major point in defining shortcomings in the current food contact risk assessment mechanism and legislation is that safety of food contact materials is currently less guaranteed due to different risk assessment, authorization processes across the Europe and their problematic enforcement.


food contact materials; plastics; chemicals; migration; EU regulation.

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