Scientific Opinion on the safety assessment of the active substances iron, iron oxides, sodium chloride and calcium hydroxide for use in food contact materials
This scientific opinion of the EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) deals with the safety assessment of an iron-based oxygen absorber, comprising iron, iron oxides, sodium chloride and calcium hydroxide. This mixture is incorporated into polypropylene, which is then used as an inner layer in multilayer food contact materials; thus, it is not in direct contact with foods. All the substances constituting the oxygen absorber system have been evaluated and authorised for use as additives in plastic food contact materials. Based on the very low migration results provided for a typical multilayer material, the specific migration limits of 48 mg/kg food for iron and of 60 mg/kg food (the overall migration limit) for sodium chloride and for calcium hydroxide are not expected to be exceeded when the oxygen absorber system is used under the intended conditions of use, notably when incorporated into a layer not in direct contact with foodstuffs. Therefore, the CEF Panel concluded that the substances iron, iron oxides, sodium chloride and calcium hydroxide do not raise a safety concern when used as oxygen absorbers incorporated in polypropylene and used as requested for the long-term storage of foods at room temperature with or without in-pack heating of the food at up to 125 °C for up to 60 minutes, provided that the food is separated from the active material by a layer of polyolefin that does not contain the oxygen absorber mixture and offers a barrier to the diffusion of inorganic species equivalent to at least 10 µm polypropylene.