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Food Contact Materials Testing

How do you know if the packaging your food is wrapped in is safe?

Fera is the UK National Reference Laboratory for Materials and Articles in Contact with Food. Food contact materials testing is used worldwide to make sure that food is not contaminated by the products it comes into contact with. At Fera we carry out food packaging testing and contact materials testing to ensure that your products comply with the appropriate regulations for food contact materials. Our work involves research, surveillance and targeted and non targeted analysis of known and unknown migrants. Analysis in complex matrices (foods, food simulants and food contact materials and articles) utilising a range of advanced chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques including headspace gas chromatography, GC-MS, LC-MS and time of flight (TOF)-MS. Staff are experts in policy and legislation, often being asked to speak at high profile global events in this area as well as in the analysis of these matrices.

Our staff are experts in policy and legislation in this area as well as in the analysis of these matrices. The term 'food contact material' describes any material that may come into contact with a foodstuff. The most obvious example is food packaging but the term also encompasses materials (and articles) used in food processing, transport, preparation and consumption.

food contact testing, surveillance, targeted and non targeted analysis, known migrants, unknown migrants

All materials that come into contact with food, from manufacturers' packaging to storage containers should be tested to ensure they are safe for food contact - compliance with The Framework Regulation, European Framework Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 Article 3 and Plastics Regulation EU 10/2011 Article 19 ensures that food contact materials and articles do not change the nature, substance or quality of the food and that food contact materials must not transfer their components into the foods in unacceptable quantities (migration). Specific measures exist for some material types and some substances but these do not cover all that may be used in food contact applications.

Our Services - Targeted & Non-Targeted Analysis

What are IAS? (Intentionally Added Substances)

IAS are known ingredients in food contact materials which can migrate such as monomers, catalysts, solvents, suspension media, additives, etc.

Fera can test to determine the concentration of the IAS in a material or article and its migration into Food simulants and foodstuffs.

What are NIAS? (Non-Intentionally Added Substances)

NIAS are known or unknown isomers, impurities, reaction products and breakdown product of these ingredients as well as possible contaminants from the manufacturing process such as recycled materials, irradiated materials or contamination from indirect food contact sources such as printing inks, external coatings, adhesives, secondary packaging.

Fera has extensive experience in the detection, identification and quantifcation of NIAS in a range of material types and their migration into food simulants and foodstuffs.

Close working relationships between FCM manufacturers and the Analytical Laboratory facilitates an iterative process during new product development ensuring better understanding of components of ingredients, iproviding greater confidence in NIAS prediction and identify confirmation.

Learn More

Ever advancing analytical instrumentation provides very powerful tools for determination of IAS and NIAS so to speak with us about our services, or for any services not listed, please contact our recognised expert Dr Malcolm Driffield on:

+44 (0)300 100 0323 or contact us here.

Talk to an expert

Dr Malcolm Driffield is a recognised expert on the advanced analytical approaches for the determination of IAS and NIAS from food contact materials. At Fera we

  • Use state-of-the-art analytical techniques for targeted (IAS) and non-targeted (NIAS) analysis
  • Carry out profiling experiments to identify differences and similarities between sample sets
  • Work closely with customers to determine the most appropriate method for identifying and quantifying NIAS in specific cases

Explaining the science behind Food Contact Materials: Download our latest presentation by Dr Malcolm Driffield, recently launched at the Fresenius Conference

Telephone: +44 (0)300 100 0323

Email:      Contact Us

NRL for Materials & Articles in Contact with Food

We are the National Reference Laboratory for Materials & Articles in Contact with Food

Download our latest white paper on NIAS

Our teams often work in other commercial industry partners to bring new ideas and innovation to the forefront and our latest white paper considers the 'Safety Assessment of Food Contact Materials' and describes the issues of chemicals migrating into food from packaging materials, the need to assess the safety of those chemicals that migrate, and the role that high-resolution mass spectrometry has to play in the related analysis.

To download the white paper click here

Visit HorizonScan website - Food supply chain global issues and trends

Emerging Risks & Increasing Issues across the global supply chain at your fingertips - HorizonScan why not sign up for a free trial

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