The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published a review on the potential risks and other unintended consequences of bio-based food contact materials (BBFCMs).
BBFCMs are made from biological, renewable resources and are used for packaging food products. They are a popular alternative to fossil fuel-based materials because they come from sustainable sources and are generally biodegradable or compostable.
The report, which was commissioned by the FSA and produced by Fera Science Ltd, found that BBFCMs can exhibit properties similar to traditional oil-based plastics, enabling comparable shelf-life performance and consumer protection. It also suggested that current risk assessment processes for establishing contaminant chemical transfer from packaging to food would be appropriate for BBFCMs.
However, the report found that in many areas limited research has been undertaken into BBFCMs and that there is little information available on these new materials, such as, the potential risk of allergens present in these bio-based materials transferring to food.
The report suggested that additional studies may be required to help contribute towards our understanding of FCMs, ensuring future food safety and consumer protection.
Source: FSA, 19 September 2019