Our experts will help you understand and test against safety regulations for recycled materials used in packaging

  • A Smithers expert in the laboratory testing food contact samplesWe carry out all work according to EU or FDA protocols.
  • Projects normally involve dosing virgin material with chemical surrogates and collecting the treated material in various points in the cleaning process.
  • Quantitative trace analysis of the surrogates in the cleaned material is then conducted and, if necessary, migration tests performed to establish the effectiveness of the process.

Support with EU Regulations

In the EU, recycling plastics for food contact applications is covered by Regulation (EC) No 282/2008. Part of compliance with this involves only using approved post-consumer recycling (PCR) processes. To approve a PCR process, it is necessary to perform PCR testing and to submit a technical dossier to the ESFA. Part of this dossier involves determination of the decontamination efficiency of the recycling processes, often referred to as 'challenge testing' since it involves challenging the process with a plastic deliberately contaminated with surrogate contaminates.

We can help you with this by preparing your contaminated feedstock, analysing it and then analysing the output from your process to determine the decontamination efficiency. We can also help you by writing this part of the dossier for you and providing advice on what you should include in the quality assurance system necessary to support future process-users. 

Support with USA Regulations

In the USA, recyled materials are not covered by specific FDA Regulations, but need to comply with the relevant requirements of Chapter 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

We help by using a challnge test in a similar fashion to that for the EU Regulations, differing in detail, allowing you to show that a post-consumer recycling process is screened, checked and risk assessed .

Screening Tests

The screening tests aim to identify unknowns and provide a semi-quantitative analysis so that concentrations to food can be estimated by migration modelling. This approach has been applied to recycled plastics and irradiated plastics to good effect. 

We have developed a number of simple screening tests for evaluating the safety credentials of Food Contact materials, whether recycled or materials containing NIAS.

Find out more about our food contact testing and support services, as well as our support for assessing personal care products.

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