Packaging: The Unwanted Ingredient in Food
Extractables and leachables from food packaging are a major source of food contamination and taints.
With the move away from oil based non-recyclable plastics in the food industry and a movement towards natural polymers and biodegradable materials, the extractable and leachable profile of the packaging will be different and will bring new chemicals into the potential list of contaminants.
Our colleagues at GERSTEL have done some work on the extraction of these chemicals from packaging materials using an automated liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) and direct thermal desorption using the GERSTEL Thermal Desorption Unit (TDU). Both of these techniques use little or no solvent and very small amounts of material to get the reproducible type of data required.
These techniques can be simply used in the taints laboratory, or as a quality control (QC) check for packaging, where catching the potential contaminants before they get to the customer will save time and money.
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