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Migration testing
Food products are protected from alterations or external impacts by their packaging. Food and packaging may alter each other by direct contact. Thus, substances from food may migrate into the packaging but also vice versa. Already during production of packaging material, migration is therefore an important issue. Components like photoinitiators, adhesives, films or barrier coatings may leave undesired substances on the packaging and as a result in food.

Legal Requirements
In EU framework regulation 1935/2004 harmonised principles were defined for packaging materials to be sufficiently inert for the contact with food. Some requirements are - among others – traceability for all stages of the production process and proof of compliance to regulations – the declaration of conformity. Since various parameters like composition of the packaging, components in packaging and food contained therein influence migration, legislation requires a declaration of non-objection of the final product. For plastic materials specific requirements are defined for migration of substances in regulation 10/2011 (PIM).

For the protection of consumers, migration of substances which have an impact on health or quality of the food has to be ruled out. Therefore in regulation 10/2011 (PIM) restric­tions for plastic materials and objects are laid down. As long as the food is not packed yet, testing is carried out under worst case contact conditions with food simulants reflec­ting the properties of the food to be packed.

Food Categories and Simulating Solvents
Food Properties Food Simulant
Hydrophilic (A) Ethanol 10 % volume
Hydrophilic; pH = 4,5 (B) Acetic acid 3% weight
Hydrophilic; alcohol content
up to 20%; lipophilic
(C) Ethanol 20 % volume
Lipophilic; alcohol content
> 20%; o/w emulsion
(D1) Ethanol 50 % volume
Lipophilic; free fats D2) Vegetable oil with
specified fatty acid spectrum
Dried foods (E) Poly-2,6-diphenyl-p-phenylene oxid

The sum of all migrated substances – global migration – must not exceed the limit of 10 mg per dm2 area of packaging material. In addition there are specific migration limits (SML) for certain substances which define the maximum limits in food.

Apart from offering more than 5000 highly sensitive single analyte methods, we also support you in assessing your packaging. We help you with checking documentation according to the IFS packaging guideline. We support you in complying with legal re­quirements and even specifications exceeding them.


Recommended Maximum Residue Limits and Analytical Methods
15.05.2014 | In June 2013 the current guideline of 2002 for metals and alloys was replaced by a resolution of the European Council. more