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Nestlé System Technology Center Interview

Ahead of Global Food Contact 2023, we spoke to Burçak İçli Pollard, Food Contact Material Specialist, RSA & Safety at Nestle System Technology Center.

Q: You are speaking about "Regulatory and Consumer Safety challenges on worldwide validation for Novel Packaging materials which is a must for sustainable solutions. (Positive listing and Testing)" at this year's conference. Can you give us a snapshot of what delegates will hear?

I will be focusing on compostable solutions for novel packaging materials. I'll speak about regulatory differences worldwide and the challenges this poses for validating novel materials. My presentation will also touch on regulatory testing challenges for materials that combine different novel material commodities (i.e. laminates) and pragmatic approaches to overcome issues within the legal context defined by law.

Q: What do you see as the major developments that 2023 will bring regarding food contact regulation, testing and enforcement in general?

There is an increased focus on sustainability. There could be more emphasis on using sustainable materials for food packaging, such as biodegradable or compostable materials, to reduce waste and environmental impact. Everyday there are stricter regulations on chemicals. Governments and regulatory bodies may implement stricter regulations on chemicals used in food packaging such as bisphenols, PFAS and styrene to protect public health. Harmonisation of regulations is key - the standardisation of regulations and testing procedures between different countries in Europe will make compliance with food contact regulations easier for manufacturers and suppliers. There are expectations for possible revision of the current EU Framework Regulation for Food Contact Materials in light of technological progress, both for materials and testing and applicable techniques for analysis. Inclusion of material-specific regulations, such as the one for food contact plastics would most certainly be highly valuable. Overall, the focus on sustainability, chemical safety, and technological advancements are likely to continue to drive developments in food contact regulation, testing and enforcement in 2023 and beyond.

Q: What are you most looking forward to hearing about and discussing with your fellow speakers and delegates at this year's conference?

I'm looking forward to meeting people in person after this challenging period we've had with Covid and to have face-to-face discussions on sustainability and environmental impact, advances in food safety and risk assessment, and emerging regulatory issues