Food Safety and Mineral Oil Contaminated Paperboard Packaging: an Analytical Challenge and a Migration Study

Lorenzini, Rita (2012) Food Safety and Mineral Oil Contaminated Paperboard Packaging: an Analytical Challenge and a Migration Study , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze agroambientali, 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4898.
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Food packaging protects food, but it can sometimes become a source of undesired contaminants. Paper based materials, despite being perceived as “natural” and safe, can contain volatile contaminants (especially if made from recycled paper) able to migrate to food, as mineral oil, phthalates and photoinitiators. Mineral oil is a petroleum product used as printing ink solvent for newspapers, magazines and packaging. From paperboard printing and from recycled fibers (if present), mineral oil migrates into food, even if dry, through the gas phase. Its toxicity is not fully evaluated, but a temporary Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 0.6 mg kg-1 has been established for saturated mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOSH), while aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) are more toxic. Extraction and analysis of MOSH and MOAH is difficult due to the thousands of molecules present. Extraction methods for packaging and food have been optimized, then applied for a “shopping trolley survey” on over 100 Italian and Swiss market products. Instrumental analyses were performed with online LC-GC/FID. Average concentration of MOSH in paperboards was 626 mg kg-1. Many had the potential of contaminating foods exceeding temporary ADI tens of times. A long term migration study was then designed to better understand migration kinetics. Egg pasta and müesli were chosen as representative (high surface/weight ratio). They were stored at different temperatures (4, 20, 30, 40 and 60°C) and conditions (free, shelved or boxed packs) for 1 year. MOSH and MOAH kinetic curves show that migration is a fast process, mostly influenced by temperature: in egg pasta (food in direct contact with paperboard), half of MOSH is transferred to food in a week at 40°C and in 8 months at 20°C. The internal plastic bag present in müesli slowed down the startup of migration, creating a “lag time” in the curves.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Lorenzini, Rita
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze agrarie
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
food safety; migration of packaging contaminants; paper-based food packaging; recycled paper; printing inks; mineral oil hydrocarbons.
Data di discussione
14 Giugno 2012

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