Panel members at the time of adoption
Competing interests: 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.
This scientific opinion of EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids deals with the safety evaluation of an iron based oxygen absorber, comprising polyethyleneglycol, disodium pyrophosphate, monosodium phosphate and sodium chloride. This mixture is incorporated in polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) articles intended to be in contact with foodstuffs for hot fill/pasteurisation and/or long term storage at room temperature. For dried and fatty foods, direct contact with the materials is envisaged whereas other food types will be separated from the active material by a layer that does not contain the active components. All the substances constituting the oxygen absorber system have been evaluated and authorised for use as plastic food contact materials, as food additives or as food supplements. Based on migration results, the specific migration limits for iron, polyethyleneglycol, pyrophosphoric acid salts, phosphoric acid salts and sodium chloride, and the tolerable intake of phosphorus (phosphate) are not expected to be exceeded when the oxygen absorber system is used under the intended conditions of use, notably behind a layer not containing the active substance for contact with aqueous or acidic foods. Therefore, the CEF Panel concluded that the use of the substances, iron, polyethyleneglycol, disodium pyrophosphate, monosodium phosphate and sodium chloride do not raise a safety concern when used as oxygen absorbers incorporated in polyethylene and in polypropylene articles used for long time storage and/or hot fill up to 95 °C for several minutes in i) direct contact with dry and fatty foods and ii) indirect contact with aqueous or acidic foods, separated from the active material by a layer of at least 10 µm polyethylene or polypropylene that does not contain the oxygen absorber formulation.