Migration of volatile compounds from natural biomaterials and their safety evaluation as food contact materials
The concern for environmental conservation is increasing, and a very important factor to consider is the search for alternatives to the use of plastics in the food packaging industry. A good option is the manufacture of containers of biodegradable materials, such as the so-called biomaterials made of vegetable fibre such as wheat, wood, bamboo or palm leaf pulp. The migration of compounds from food packaging can cause alterations in food safety and acceptability. Therefore, their control through studies of specific migration is definitely important in the food industry. Specific migration has been studied in two types of dishes (wheat pulp and wood) in contact with three liquid simulants (ethanol 10%, acetic acid 3% and ethanol 95%). The analysis of migration extracts have been carried out by solid-phase microextraction coupled to gas chromatography (SPME-GC-MS) in the most suitable working conditions. In addition, those identified compounds considered of interest according to existing legislation have been quantified in order to assess whether exceed or not the migration limits established for some of them. The results obtained show that the quantified compounds are well below the specific migration limits (SML) set by the legislation, thereby showing the safety in use of this type of biodegradable dishes.