Scientific Opinion on the safety evaluation of the active substance, polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, crosslinked, for use in active food contact materials

Tabs

Article
Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2013;11(2):3096 [10 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3096
Panel members at the time of adoption
Ulla Beckman Sundh, Mona-Lise Binderup, Claudia Bolognesi, Leon Brimer, Laurence Castle, Alessandro Di Domenico, Karl-Heinz Engel, Roland Franz, Nathalie Gontard, Rainer Gürtler, Trine Husøy, Klaus-Dieter Jany, Martine Kolf-Clauw, Catherine Leclercq, Jean-Claude Lhuguenot (until November 2012), Wim Mennes, Maria Rosaria Milana, Maria de Fátima Poças, Iona Pratt, Kettil Svensson, Fidel Toldrá and Detlef Wölfle.
Acknowledgements

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Food Contact Materials: Mona-Lise Binderup, Laurence Castle, Riccardo Crebelli, Roland Franz, Nathalie Gontard, Eugenia Lampi, Jean-Claude Lhuguenot (until November 2012), Maria Rosaria Milana, Karla Pfaff, Maria de Fátima Poças, Philippe Saillard, Kettil Svensson and Detlef Wölfle for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion.

Possible conflict of interest
One member of the Panel did not participate in the discussion on the subject referred to above because of potential conflicts of interest identified in accordance with the EFSA policy on declarations of interests.
Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Germany
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2011-00136
EFSA-Q-2011-00221
EFSA-Q-2011-00220
Adopted
29 January 2013
Published
13 February 2013
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note

The full opinion will be published in accordance with Article 10(6) of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 once the decision on confidentiality, in line with Article 20(3) of the Regulation, will be received from the European Commission. The name of the crosslinker has been provided under confidentiality and it is deleted awaiting the decision of the Commission.

Download Article (107.17 KB)
Abstract

This scientific opinion of CEF Panel deals with the risk assessment of polyacrylic acid, sodium salt crosslinked, FCM substance No 1015, which is intended to be used as liquid absorber in the packaging of fresh or frozen meat, poultry, and fish as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Specific migration tests were not performed due to the high absorption of liquids by the substance. The Panel noted that if polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, crosslinked is used not in direct contact with food placed in a pad under conditions where its absorption capacity is not exceeded, then no migration is to be expected and therefore no exposure to the substance from the consumption of the packed food is expected. The CEF Panel concluded that the use of the substance polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, crosslinked does not raise a safety concern when used in absorbent pads in the packaging of fresh or frozen meat, poultry, and fish as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The absorbent pads must be used only under conditions in which the absorption capacity of the active substance is not exceeded and direct contact with food is excluded.

Summary

According to the Commission Regulation (EC) No 450/2009 of the Commission of European Communities of 29 May 2009 on active and intelligent materials and articles intended to come into contact with food, substances responsible for the active or intelligent function need first to be evaluated by EFSA before their inclusion into a positive Community list. The procedure of the evaluation and the tasks of EFSA are described in the Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 October 2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

In the context of this evaluation procedure following three requests from the Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL), Germany, the Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing aids (CEF) was asked to deliver an opinion on polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, crosslinked (FCM substance No 1015) as liquid absorber in absorbent pads used in the packaging of fresh or frozen meat, poultry, and fish as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The applications were submitted to the BVL by BASF SE (one dossier) and McAirlaid’s Vliesstoffe GmbH & Co KG (two dossiers).

The non-crosslinked polymer is authorized as an additive for plastic materials and articles in contact with food (Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 ) with a group SML of 6 mg/kg food, expressed as acrylic acid (polyacrylic acid, salts, FCM Substance No 70). The crosslinker has not been evaluated by SCF or EFSA in the past. Impurities from its manufacturing properties are substances authorised either as additives for plastic materials and articles in contact with food with no specific restriction or substances authorised as food additives.

Specific migration tests were not performed on the absorbent pads due to the high absorption of liquids by the substance. There is no direct contact possible between the substance and the food if the substance is incorporated into the inner layer of pads and the pads are used as intended. The substance and its impurities are not volatile and they will not migrate via the vapour phase. Provided that there is no direct contact between the food and the substance and that the absorption capacity of the absorbent pads is not exceeded, the Panel concluded that no migration is to be expected and therefore no exposure from the consumption of the packed food is expected.

The CEF Panel, after having considered the above mentioned information, concluded that the use of the substance polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, crosslinked, does not raise a safety concern when used in absorbent pads in the packaging of fresh or frozen meat, poultry, and fish as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The absorbent pads must be used only under conditions in which the liquid absorption capacity is not exceeded and direct contact between the substance and the food is excluded.
 

Keywords
Polyacrylic acid, sodium salt, crosslinked; FCM substance No 1015; Food contact materials; Active and intelligent materials; Safety assessment; Evaluation.
Print on demand
Number of Pages
10