Testing migration of plastic materials in contact with foodstuffs
The basic rules necessary for testing migration of constituents of plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs are harmonised at European level. Migration is the quantity of material, in this case plastic, which can be transferred to foodstuffs in contact with the plastic and which is likely to constitute a danger to human health and alter the composition of the foodstuffs in an unacceptable manner.
Council Directive 82/711/EEC of 18 October 1982 laying down the basic rules necessary for testing migration of constituents of plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs [See amending acts].
The following text contains a consolidation of existing Directives relating to testing migration of constituents of plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs (Directives 82/711/EEC, 93/8/EEC and 97/48/EC).
The basic rules necessary for testing migration are included in the Annex to Directive 97/48/EC. The Annex also explains that migration tests may be carried out using simulants.
Verification of compliance of migration into foodstuffs shall be carried out under the most extreme conditions of time and temperature foreseeable in actual use. For food simulants verification shall be carried out using conventional migration tests, the basic rules for which are described in Directive 93/8/EEC.
The Directives lay down the procedure to be followed in cases where, for a given plastic material or article, the basic rules for migration tests are inappropriate.
Migration limit, lists of approved substances and simulants
The limit on overall migration and the list of substances approved within the scope of this Directive are stipulated in Directive 2002/72/EC (see "Related acts" below). The list of simulants for testing migration is found in Directive 85/572 (see "Related acts" below).
European legislation (Directive 2002/72/EC) protects consumers' health by banning materials and articles in contact with foodstuffs which may transfer their constituents to foodstuffs in quantities which could endanger human health and by prohibiting substantial changes to foodstuffs, including their organoleptic characteristics. (Changes to organoleptic characteristics are permitted only in active materials if the substance is an additive that is authorised in foodstuffs).
The latest scientific progress has led to innovations concerning articles in contact with foodstuffs. Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 authorises two types of packaging: "intelligent" (indicating if the product has expired or deteriorated) and "active" (making chemical changes to foodstuffs to increase their durability).
For further information on materials in contact with foodstuffs, please consult:
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Directive 78/142/EEC||01.02.1978||26.11.1979||OJ L 44 of 15.02.1978; corrigendum L 163 of 20.06.1978|
|Amending act(s)||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Directive 82/711/EEC||04.11.1982||-||OJ L 297 of 23.10.1982|
|Directive 93/8/EEC||22.03.1993||-||OJ L 90 of 14.04.1993|
|Directive 97/48/EC||01.09.1997||01.07.1998||OJ L 222 of 12.08.1997|