Consumer exposure through packaging components is a key issue in the view of health oriented consumer protection. With build up of the future food contact legislation, industry will be asked increasingly to assess consumer exposure through packaging components in its own responsibility.
Exposure from packaging materials through the daily diet is always related to a specific chemical species, contaminating to a given extent the various foods constituting the diet. The daily consumer exposure (Exp) with a specific chemical species (SM) related to the body weight of the consumer (BW) can be expressed with the following mathematical relationship: Exp=SUM[Food*SM]/[BW]. The consumer exposure with a given chemical species is expressed as the sum of contaminant levels in the different foodstuffs consumed per day, contaminated each up to a given specific migration (SM).
The aim of the project is to establish a new, general estimation procedure for consumer exposure from packaging components through a feasibility study based on PET drinking bottles. The implementation of the project aim will be achieved through collection of food types and contact frequency with PET bottles. The migration of several chemical species will be assessed experimentally and theoretically like residual monomers (MEG/DEG), acetaldehyde-quenchers, antimonytrioxide as well as the "forest of peaks" (migrants of unknown chemical identity).
The new evaluation procedure should enable packaging material producers and food packers to estimate consumer exposure with migrants not yet listed on a positive list, like oligomers, break down products, impurities, etc.
The exposure estimation technique will rely on a new stochastic technique for migration modelling as well as an improved data base on packaging/foodstuff contact frequency.