Introduction to Food Contact Materials, Products, Regulations and Testing

Shropshire, UK


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Course Dates

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Course overview

The course will give participants an understanding of how a wide-range of polymeric and polymer-based materials (e.g. plastics, rubbers, coatings, inks etc.) are used in an extensive range of food contact products (e.g. packaging, processing equipment, cooking utensils etc.) and which additives, monomers and other constituents from these materials need to be considered with respect to potential migration into food.
The course will also provide an overview of the food contact regulations that are in place in Europe, the USA and other parts of the world, how these regulations and guidelines impact on the various classes of food contact products and what regulatory changes are to be expected in the future.
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Gain CPD credits

Smithers is an IOM3 Quality Assured training provider and our courses are approved towards professional development.

Migration testing is essential to ensure full compliance with the regulations and analytical methodology. Instrumentation and sample preparation associated with both specific and overall migration work will be explained to assist attendees' understanding of why specific tests are undertaken and what they can achieve. Other tests important in accessing food contact materials (e.g. organoleptic and heavy metal tests) will also be covered.

Food contact materials and articles  is an area where many technological developments are taking place to improve food safety (e.g. active and intelligent packaging) and to increase the sustainability of the sector, e.g. use of recycled materials and redesign of food packaging to aid recycling.  Some of these developments will be highlighted along with possible future trends in the industry.
Work shop exercises are included to consolidate understanding.

Learning outcomes

  • An appreciation of the roles and functions that polymeric materials play in food contact materials.
  • Understanding of the Regulations and guidelines required for your products
  • An understanding of the role that migration testing plays in regulatory approval
  • Ability to make informed decisions when developing new products
  • Ability to make the best use of the information obtained from test results

Course content

Short Introduction to Polymer Science and the factors that affect migration into food
  • Overview of polymer materials
  • Origin of migrants from polymer products
  • Mechanisms that influence the migratory behaviour of polymers
Food Contact Regulations and Guidelines
  • EU Regulations
  • Council of Europe 
  • FDA Regulations
  • Food Contact legislation in the BRIC countries
  • National Regulations in Europe and other countries e.g. China, Brazil, India, Canada
Classes of Food Contact Polymers and their Potential Migrants
  • Overview of polymers and polymeric products. Materials covered: 
  • Plastics, Rubbers and Thermosets
  • Silicone materials - rubbers, resins, fluids and pastes
  • Inks and coatings
  • Adhesives
  • Paper and board
  • Recycled materials e.g. plastics, paper and board
  • Laminate materials
Application of Food Contact Regulations to Specific Products
  • The principal classes of food contact products will be targeted:
  • Plastics
  • Rubbers
  • Inks
  • Coatings
  • Silicone based products
Use of Recycled Materials for Food Contact Products
  • Plastics
  • Paper and Board
  • Status of other materials, e.g. rubber
Assessing the Safety of Food Contact Materials
  • Overall migration tests
  • Specific migration tests
  • Analytical approaches and techniques
  • Techniques used for the fingerprinting of potential migrants
  • Determination of specific species in food stimulants and food products
  • Analysis of food products
  • Quality control of testing regimes
  • Computer modelling of migration
Improving the Safety of Food Contact Materials and Future Trends in Food Contact Materials
  • Active packaging
  • Intelligent packaging
  • Nanotechnology
  • Barrier coatings
  • Developments in additives, including:
  • Antibacterial additives
  • Non-or low migratory additives
  • Additives that give non-toxic breakdown/reaction products
  • Workshops will be run during the course, e.g.:
  • migration testing protocols, methods and testing regimes
  • application of food contact legislation to multi-layer, multi-material products

Who will benefit?

  • Packaging Product Designers
  • Product Development Technologists
  • Food Scientists and Technologists
  • Technical Service Managers
  • Food Processing Engineers
  • Purchasing and procurement personnel
  • However, products based on polymeric materials (plastics, rubbers, resins etc) are used in all areas of the food industry and people in various sectors (manufacture, packaging, retailing and catering etc.) need to have an understanding of the roles and functions that they have, the regulations that apply and the testing that needs to be conducted to ensure regulatory compliance.  

Presenter information

  • Mohammed Alkattan (PhD)

What our delegates say

"Very good, knowledgeable staff, good content"
Simon Pears (FFP Packaging Solutions)
"The skill set of the providers is clearly world class and it has been a privilege to listen to them"
Rikki Speakman (Diageo Global Supply)

Questions and queries

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Introduction to Food Contact Materials, Products, Regulations and Testing

Length 2 days