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Polymer additive migration to foods - a direct comparison of experimental data and values calculated from migration models for high density polyethylene (HDPE)

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To reduce the amount of compliance testing for food contact polymers the use of migration modelling has been proposed. This study was conducted to provide valid data for the independent evaluation of two such diffusion-based models using a range of different high density polyethylene (HDPE) polymers and plastics additives. Seventy-two experimental migration data have been obtained in triplicate and used to evaluate two Fickian-based migration models in the prediction of specific migration of four HDPE additives into olive oil. All tests were conducted using olive oil, representing the most severe case for fatty foods with test conditions of 2h at 70oC, 6h at 70oC, 10 days at 40oC representing short term exposures at high temperatures and room temperature storage. Predicted migration values were calculated by inserting the measured initial concentration of additive in the polymers (Cp,0) into the equations together with known variables such as additive molecular weight, temperature and exposure time. The results indicate that both models predict migration values into olive oil close to, or in excess of, the experimental results. The Piringer migration model, using the 'exact' calculations of the Migratest Lite program, gave an overestimation for 83% of the migration values generated in this study. The highest overestimation was 3.7 times the measured value. For all measurements, the predicted migration from the Migratest Lite program was greater than 50% of the observed value. The FDA model was found more accurately to predict migration in most situations but underestimated migration more frequently. Differences in the polymer specification had little effect on specific migration of the additives investigated.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1999

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