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Grob K.,Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich
Food Control | Year: 2014

EU legislation requires that the materials migrating from packaging and other food contact materials (FCM) into food do not endanger human health, which means the absence of a substance transferred to food in potentially health-relevant amounts. Hardly any FCM has been investigated to the extent complying with this requirement. At best the starting substances were evaluated. However, usually the larger part of the migrates consists of oligomers, reaction products and impurities (ORPIs), of which often not even the composition is known. This is not new, but the legally required compliance declarations render it more evident: even though most FCM do not fully comply with the legal requirement, the declarations have to state this, as FCM cannot be marketed otherwise - which is an awkward situation. A system is proposed rendering the gaps in the compliance work temporarily tolerable, provided these are described and registered with the business operators behind them. The owners of the gap description elaborate work plans, which have to be discussed and approved by competent authorities. These plans have to be realistic in terms of feasibility and timelines. Such gap descriptions can be listed in compliance declarations for an honest statement on compliance. The system introduces flexibility and is promising to get the present situation out of the deadlock. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Biedermann M.,Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich | Grob K.,Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2012

Mineral oil hydrocarbons are complex as well as varying mixtures and produce correspondingly complex chromatograms (on-line HPLC-GC-FID as described in Part 1): mostly humps of unresolved components are obtained, sometimes with sharp peaks on top. Chromatograms may also contain peaks of hydrocarbons from other sources which need to be subtracted from the mineral oil components. The review focuses on the interpretation and integration of chromatograms related to food contamination by mineral oil from paperboard boxes (off-set printing inks and recycled fibers), if possible distinguishing between various sources of mineral oil. Typical chromatograms are shown for relevant components and interferences as well as food samples encountered on the market. Details are pointed out which may provide relevant information. Integration is shown for examples of paperboard packaging materials as well as various foods. Finally the uncertainty of the analysis and limit of quantitation are discussed for specific examples. They primarily result from the interpretation of the chromatogram, manually placing the baseline and cuts for taking off extraneous components. Without previous enrichment, the limit of quantitation is between around 0.1. mg/kg for foods with a low fat content and 2.5. mg/kg for fats and oils. The measurement uncertainty can be kept clearly below 20% for most samples. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Biedermann M.,Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich | Grob K.,Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2012

For the analysis of mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH), on-line coupled high performance liquid chromatography-gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (HPLC-GC-FID) offers important advantages: it separates MOSH and MOAH in robust manner, enables direct injection of large aliquots of raw extracts (resulting in a low detection limit), avoids contamination of the sample during preparation and is fully automated. This review starts with an overview of the technology, particularly the fundamentals of introducing large volumes of solvent into GC, and their implementation into various transfer techniques. The main part deals with the concepts of MOSH and MOAH analysis, with a thorough discussion of the choices made. It is followed by a description of the method. Finally auxiliary tools are summarized to remove interfering components, enrich the sample in case of a high fat content and obtain additional information about the MOSH and MOAH composition. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Biedermann M.,Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich | Grob K.,Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich
European Food Research and Technology | Year: 2010

Recycled paper and board used in food packaging materials (boxes, paper bags) often cause migration of mineral oil into food at levels which are unacceptable according to present toxicological assessments. When foods in recycled board are densely packed into larger boxes or onto pallets, most of the hydrocarbons up to n-C 20 may migrate into the packed food within a few weeks, those up to n-C 28 at a decreasing rate. Unprinted recycled board contained 300-1,000 mg/kg mineral oil

Biedermann S.,Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich | Tschudin P.,Swiss Public Radio DRS | Grob K.,Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2010

Of 13 thermal printing papers analyzed, 11 contained 8-17 g/kg bisphenol A (BPA). When taking hold of a receipt consisting of thermal printing paper for 5 s, roughly 1 μg BPA (0.2-6 μg) was transferred to the forefinger and the middle finger if the skin was rather dry and about ten times more if these fingers were wet or very greasy. This amount transferred to dry skin was neither significantly increased when taking hold of the paper at up to 10 sites, nor reduced when BPA-free paper was contacted afterwards. After 60-90 min, BPA applied to the skin as a solution in ethanol was only partially or no longer at all extractable with ethanol, whereas BPA transferred to the skin by holding thermal printer paper remained largely extractable after 2 h. This suggests that penetration of the skin depends on the conditions. Extractability experiments did not enable us to conclude whether BPA passes through the skin, but indicated that it can enter the skin to such a depth that it can no longer be washed off. If this BPA ends up in the human metabolism, exposure of a person repeatedly touching thermal printer paper for 10 h/day, such as at a cash register, could reach 71 μg/day, which is 42 times less than the present tolerable daily intake (TDI). However, if more than just the finger pads contact the BPA-containing paper or a hand cream enhances permeability of the skin, this margin might be smaller. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

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