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Evaluating the migration of ingredients from active packaging and development of dedicated methods: A study of two iron-based oxygen absorbers

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Author: López-Cervantes, L. · Sánchez-Machado, D.I. · Pastorelli, S. · Rijk, R. · Paseiro-Losada, P.
Institution: TNO Voeding
Source:Food Additives and Contaminants, 3, 20, 291-299
Identifier: 236991
doi: doi:10.1080/0265203021000060878
Keywords: Packaging · Analytical research · Active packaging · Migration · Oxygen absorber · Simulants · acetic acid · agar · chloride ion · ferrous ion · oxygen · plastic · scavenger · sodium ion · water · absorption · analytic method · article · concentration (parameters) · controlled study · European Union · food composition · food packaging · gel · infrared spectrometry · liquid · maximum allowable concentration · migration · priority journal · scanning electron microscopy · simulation · solid · standard · vacuum · viscosity · X ray fluorescence · Acetic Acid · European Union · Food Analysis · Food Contamination · Food Packaging · Food Preservation · Free Radical Scavengers · Iron · Legislation, Food · Sodium Chloride · Water


The behaviour of two commercial oxygen-scavenging products with respect to migration of active ingredients into foodstuffs was investigated. Migrants were identified, and by using appropriate analytical methods, migration was determined in a variety of liquid, solid or gelled food simulants and foods. Simulants were chosen to cover a range of water activities and viscosities. Foods and the gelled food simulant agar were packed with and without vacuum, and with the oxygen scavenger in various locations relative to the packed food. The main migrants, as identified by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive spectrometry were Na+ and Cl- in non-acidic aqueous simulants, and Na+, Cl- and Fe2+ in 3% acetic acid. Migration into aqueous simulants exceeded the current European Union limit for total migration from plastic materials (assumed to be currently applicable to these systems) and was probably excessive by any reasonable standard. However, neither oxygen scavenger appeared to release significant quantities of migrants into solid foods when the scavenger was properly located in the package and the packing process does not favour the contents becoming wet by water released from the food.