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Identification of organic contaminants in disposable aluminium foil containers

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A series of disposable aluminium foil containers designed for cooking and packaging foods and available on the Italian market were investigated. Using different analytical techniques (near infrared (NIR), High Resolution Gas Chromatography (HRGC), gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)), organic substances used as lubricants in the manufacturing of the containers were detected on the aluminium layer in contact with the food. These contaminants were not mineral hydrocarbon fractions used for the shaping of can lids and bodies, but had an organic structure identifiable as esters derived by synthesis between fatty acids C8 and C10 with glycerine, and between C16 and C18 with butyl alcohol. Mixtures of higher esters were also identified as contaminants. Twelve samples were analysed, and the total amount of contaminant substances was found to range from 900 to 1200µgdm −2 . It is recommended, for safety and compliance with European Community (EC) Regulation No. 1935/2004 (27 October 2004), that the use of aluminium foil containers be subject to appropriate regulation concerning substances adopted for technological purposes.
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Keywords: Aluminium foil containers; lubricants; migration; taint

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Milan, Di. Pro. Ve., Via Celoria, 2, Milan, I-20133, Italy

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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