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Safety assessment of the substance ground sunflower seed hulls, for use in food contact materials


Panel members at the time of adoption

Claudia Bolognesi, Laurence Castle, Jean-Pierre Cravedi, Karl-Heinz Engel, Paul Fowler, Roland Franz, Konrad Grob, Rainer Gürtler, Trine Husøy, Sirpa Kärenlampi, Wim Mennes, Maria Rosaria Milana, André Penninks, Vittorio Silano, Andrew Smith, Maria de Fátima Tavares Poças, Christina Tlustos, Detlef Wölfle, Holger Zorn and Corina-Aurelia Zugravu

Competing interests: In line with EFSA's policy on declarations of interest, the Panel member Roland Franz did not participate in the development and adoption of this scientific opinion.


This opinion of the EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) deals with the safety assessment of ground sunflower seed hulls, food contact material (FCM) substance No 1060, for use as an additive at up to 50% w/w in plastics such as polypropylene. The plastics are processed at up to 240°C and are intended for contact with dry foods only at room temperature or below. No migration data were provided for the additive as no migration is foreseeable. Concerning the possible presence and migration of impurities, as well as reaction and degradation products, a multistep investigation was used involving analysis of the plastic itself and then migration testing using modified polyphenylene oxide (MPPO) and test conditions of 10 days at 40 or 60°C. The highest migration, up to 54 mg/kg, was for the sum of four natural fatty acids. All other substances were either not detectable (< 30 μg/kg) or migrated at low concentrations only. For the additive itself, no genotoxicity data are required as it is a large polymer which will not be absorbed by the cells used in genotoxicity tests. The migration of natural fatty acids is not of toxicological concern. For the other substances found in the plastic, taking into account their nature and origin and given that migration was either not detectable or was low, they do not give rise to toxicological concern. The CEF Panel concluded that the substance ground sunflower seed hulls is not a safety concern for the consumer if used as an additive in plastics intended for contact with dry foods at room temperature or below. The seed hulls should be obtained from sunflower seeds that are fit for human consumption and the plastic containing the additive should be subjected to processing temperatures no higher than 240°C.