Monday 23 September 2002
We often see sticky labels on fruit and vegetables. These labels usually provide information on the country that the fruit or vegetable comes from, and the type of fruit, such as a Granny Smith apple.
Yes. The new European Framework Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 on Materials and Articles Intended to come into Contact with Foodstuffs lays down the general requirements with which adhesives must comply.
These regulations to protect public health require that materials that are intended for food contact use, such as adhesives for sticky labels, must be manufactured to prevent them from affecting the food or making it harmful. The regulations also ensure that adhesives do not change the nature, substance or quality of the food.
Three projects have been carried out by the Agency on adhesives as a food contact material:
- Two projects (FS2223 and FS227) looked at the chemical composition and migration levels of packaging adhesives, particularly coldseal adhesives. Formulation details supplied by industry were used to estimate worst-case (100% transfer) migration levels. The wrappings of food products packaged using coldseal adhesives were analysed to quantify residues of known adhesive ingredients and also for the presence of contaminants. The potential for migration to packaged food was concluded to be very low.
- A third project (FS2228) investigated the use of a particular analytical technique (Fourier Transfer-Raman Spectroscopy) to measure the transfer of adhesives from sticky labels to the surface of fruits. The technique proved suitable to demonstrate the transfer of adhesives but the levels found were so low that little reliance could be placed on quantitative results.
Food Contact Materials Unit
Food Standards Agency
London WC2B 6NH
Tel: 020 7276 8399
Fax: 020 7276 8446