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Food Contact Center Interview

Ahead of her presentation as part of Global Food Contact Online, we spoke to Dr Marinella Vitulli, Director, Food Contact Center, to find out more about her presentation, steps to consider risk assessments of NIAS from bio-based and recycled packaging and more...



1.    Could you please share with our audience a quick snapshot about what you will be sharing in your presentation? 

Companies are developing worldwide new and sustainable packaging, using new materials, also bio based or biodegradables, or recycling packaging materials. 

 Anyway, packaging must preserve safety, and conformity must be assessed taking into account that new or biodegradable materials have a different behaviour respect to migrations, and recycled materials, can contain impurities and non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) that cannot be predictable. 


2.    What are the key steps when considering Risk Assessments of NIAS from Bio-based And Recycled Packaging?

A correct testing approach is a must; it is important to take into account the matrix to test, the chemical composition and behaviour of each material; it is also crucial to refer to different techniques for different NIAS, and also to refer to different sample preparation and instrumental settings.

European laboratories and experts are working together to define best practices for identifying and quantifying unknown migrants from Food Contact Materials; and such best practices are of course essential to assess Bio-based And Recycled Packaging that can contain many unknown and non-intentionally added substances.

This is the reason why my Company, Food Contact Center, is producing a comprehensive library of food contact substances, useful for untargeted testing performed with LC Q TOF, cooperating with SCIEX, the instruments manufacturer specialised on liquid chromatography, in order to have a unique tool to respond to Companies' needs.

3.    How does the future of the industry look like? 

Companies are deeply involved in the Circular Economy; consequently, the evaluation of a correct packaging design, and also the life cycle assessment cradle-to-grave is a need that cannot be postponed; meanwhile, food contact materials must be safe and suitable, that’s why the efforts of scientist and packaging experts are totally aligned with this environmental path that all Companies must go through.