Food Contact Rubber Products - Overview of Regulations and Testing

Shawbury, Shropshire, UK


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Smithers has considerable experience in food contact rubber products gained from working with a wide client base. In addition to single client consultancy projects covering all sectors of the food industry, Smithers has worked in collaboration with the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) on a number of cutting-edge research projects assessing the food safety of a wide range of rubber products.​

Course overview

This course will provide an understanding of the types of rubber compound and rubber products used for food contact applications and the mechanisms that influence the migration of substances from these products into food.
Rubber compounds are complex materials and the course will describe the wide range of substances that can potentially migrate into food and their origin – including those originating from compounding ingredients and breakdown/reaction products formed during vulcanisation and the action of antidegradants.
The course will provide an understanding of what food contact regulations in Europe, the USA and other parts of the world (e.g. China) apply to rubber products and demonstrate how full compliance with these regulations can be achieved using a structured assessment process.
It also covers the regulatory requirements for the manufacture, compounding and migration testing of rubber products plus specific tests to target nitrosamines, primary aromatic amines, heavy metals and other substances of interest.
Areas where changes to technology have been implemented to improve the safety of food contact rubbers will be reviewed and interactive workshop style exercises included to consolidate attendees’ understanding.

Learning outcomes

  • Know the food contact regulations and guidelines that apply to rubber products, how to understand and use them
  • Recognise substances with the potential to migrate into food from rubber products, their origin and how to control them
  • Understand how regulatory compliance work can be structured and undertaken
  • Knowledge of the migration tests carried out on food contact rubber products

Course content

Rubber Products for Food Contact Applications and Migratory Behaviour from Rubbers
  • Types of rubber / rubber products in food contact application
  • Origin of migrants from food contact rubbers
  • Mechanisms that influence migratory behaviour from rubbers
Food Contact Legislation in Europe
  • EU regulations
  • National regulations in Europe
  • How to comply with EU regulations
FDA Food Contact Legislation in the United States
  • Introduction to FDA regulations
  • Overview of principal sections concerning rubbers
  • How to comply with FDA regulations
Overview of other Food Contact Regulations and Guidelines
  • China, Japan, Brazil, India etc.
  • Council of Europe Resolutions
  • Industry and Corporate Guidelines
Breakdown Products / Reaction Products from Food Contact Rubbers
  • Substances originating from curatives
  • Substances originating from antioxidants and antiozonants
  • Analytical methods for determining breakdown and reaction products
  • Determination of Nitrosamines
Food Migration Testing of Food Contact Rubbers
  • Overall migration tests
  • Specific migration tests
  • Techniques for “fingerprinting” potential migrants
  • Determination of specific substances in food simulants and products
  • Organoleptic tests
Improving the Safety of Food Contact Rubbers and New Developments
  • Trends in the use of rubbers for food contact applications
  • Developments in additives for food contact rubbers

Who will benefit

  • Rubber technologists
  • Product development technologists
  • Food scientists and technologists
  • Food processing engineers
  • Purchasing and procurement personnel
  • Those working in food manufacture, retailing and catering etc. who need to understand how rubbers are used, the regulations that apply and the testing required to ensure regulatory compliance

Course presenter

  • Dr. Martin Forrest - Smithers

Questions and and queries

Contact Kerry Haralambou

Food Contact Rubber Products - Overview of Regulations and Testing

Length 1 day
Smithers Food Contact Rubber Products 2020 Brochure