Introduction to Food Contact Materials - Products, Regulations and Testing

This course will give participants an understanding of how polymeric materials are used in a wide 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 migration into food.

The course will also provide an overview of the food contact regulations that are in place in both Europe and the USA, how these regulations impact on the various classes of food contact materials and what regulatory changes are to be expected in the future.

Migration testing is vital to ensure compliance with the regulations and the analytical methodology, instrumentation and sample preparation for the range of specific and global migration testing that is necessary to asess the safety of food contact materials will be described to assist attendees' understanding of why specific tests are undertaken and what they can achieve.

Food contact materials is an area where many technological developments are taking place to improve food safety (e.g. active and intelligent packaging).  Some of these developments will be highlighted along with possible future trends in the industry.

This activity is approved for Professional Development by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

Course Content

Background to Polymers and Polymer Processing

  • Nature of polymers - thermoplastics, rubbers and thermosets
  • Additives used in food contact polymers and polymer compounding
  • review of polymer processing and compounding
  • review of manufacturing techniques for food contact articles

Classes of Food Contact Polymers and their Potential Migrants

  • Overview of polymers and polymer products
  • Overview of potential migrants
  • materials covered:
    • Plastics, Rubbers and Thermosets
    • Thermoplastic elastomers
    • Silicone materials - rubbers, resins, fluids and pastes
    • inks and coatings
    • adhesives
    • other polymers, e.g. regenerated cellulose, recycled plastics
    • ion exhange resins
    • paper and board
    • other non-polymeric materials, e.g. metals, ceramics, glass
    • laminate materials
    • active and intelligent materials and articles

Food Contact Regulations

  • EU Regulations
  • Council of Europe Regulations
  • FDA Regulations
  • National Regulations
  • Other relevant documents, e.g. Water regulations in the UK
  • Future direction of regulations

Assessing the Safety of Food Contact Materials

  • Global migration tests
    • Fatty food stimulants
    • Aqueous food stimulants
  • Specific migration tests 1
    • 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 stimulants
    • Analysis of food products
  • Quality control of testing regimes
  • toxicological assessment of migrants
  • 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


20 Nov 2019 - 21 Nov 2019


Shropshire, United Kingdom

Organiser Type



Smithers Rapra
United Kingdom

Organised by

Smithers Rapra

+44 1939 252312

Approved for Professional Development by IOM3

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