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Inorganic Contaminants of Food as a Function of Packaging Features

  • Angela MontanariEmail author
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science book series (BRIEFSMOLECULAR)

Abstract

Metals are the most abundant group of chemical elements on the earth’s crust and can be found in all foods. Some of them are essential to the diet, within certain specific tolerances, while others are present as contaminants and pose a risk to the human health. The knowledge of the risk by metal contamination in foodstuffs is an argument of great importance. Along the production chain, foods may come in contact with metals at different stages of the production process: parts of industrial plants, storage tanks, tools and mainly primary packaging. Some packaging materials are metallic; in other situations (plastics, etc.), metals are only one of components with a specific role. After an introduction on the international legislation, this chapter examines the main types of food containers—from metallic to plastic ones—considering the function of the metal, both as structural material or additive. For each material and packaging, factors affecting the related risk of contamination are analysed. Some case studies are examined referring to stainless steel, tinplate, aluminium, plastics and innovative packaging. The chapter concludes with a critical review with relation to some examples of metal concentration found in preserved foods, with a particular focus on heavy metals.

Keywords

Corrosion Engineered nanomaterial European food safety authority European regulation Metal contamination Migration Specific migration limit 

Abbreviations

Al

Aluminium

As

Arsenic

b.w.

Body weight

Cd

Cadmium

Ca

Calcium

CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cr

Chromium

Co

Cobalt

Cu

Copper

ECCS

Electro-coated chromium steel

ENM

Engineered nanomaterial

EDI

Estimated daily intake

EFSA

European Food Safety Authority

EU

European Union

FAO

Food and Agriculture Organization

FACET

Flavourings, Additives and Food Contact materials Exposure Task

FCM

Food contact material

ICP-MS

Inductively coupled plasma—mass spectrometry

TOF-ICP-MS

Inductively coupled plasma-time of flight-mass spectrometry

Fe

Iron

JECFA

Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives

Pb

Lead

LoQ

Limit of quantification

Li

Lithium

Mg

Magnesium

Hg

Mercury

DM

Ministerial Decree

Ni

Nickel

AFC

Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Food Contact Materials

ppb

Part per billion

ICP-AES

Plasma atomic emission inductively coupled spectroscopy

PP-g-PAA

Polypropylene-grafted-poly(acrylic acid)

PE

Polyethylene

PTWI

Provisional tolerable weekly intake

RASFF

Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed

SML

Specific migration limit

SSICA

Stazione Sperimentale per l’Industria delle Conserve Alimentari

THQ

Target hazard quotient

Sn

Tin

TFS

Tin-free steel

Ti

Titanium

V

Vanadium

Zn

Zinc

WHO

World Health Organization

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry (SSICA)ParmaItaly

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