Use of overall migration methodology to test for food-contact substances with specific migration limits

E. L. Bradley, L. Castle, S. M. Jickells, K. A. Mountfort, W. A. Read

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22 Citations (Scopus)


This work investigated if overall migration test procedures could also be used to test for the migration of specific substances from plastics. The overall migration test procedure used was the evaporative gravimetric method used with volatile food simulants. Thirty food-contact substances (additives and monomers) were tested for their chemical stability and volatile loss during the heated evaporation stage of the overall migration procedure. Eighteen of the 30 were determined in an acceptable yield. It is concluded that in the list of approximately 620 European Union substances that have specific migration limits of 5 mg kg -1 or higher, and based on considerations of stability and volatility, more than half could be amenable to control using overall migration methodology. This is particularly the case for inert plastics with low intrinsic overall migration values of oligomers. This means that based on the overall migration test result found, testing laboratories could decide on a case-by-case basis if known additives and starting substances are covered by the overall migration result and no separate testing would be required for specific migration, with time and resource cost savings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-582
Number of pages9
JournalFood Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Compliance
  • Food
  • Migration
  • Packaging
  • Testing

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