Sirap Group receives EU approval for active packaging system

Sirap Group has received EU approval for an active packaging system designed to absorb liquids on plastic trays for a variety of fresh foods.

Earlier this month, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said there were no safety concerns for the open-cell extended polystyrene (EPS) substrate manufactured with talc and alkyl (C8-C22) sulphonic acid developed by the Italian company.

The agency carried out the evaluation under EC Regulation No 450/2009 on active and intelligent packaging which stipulates that any substance to be used for this purpose be vetted for approval for addition to a positive list.

EGSA’s expert CEF panel on food contact materials said: “This combination of a hydrophilic structure with interconnected open cells provides the absorption capacity for polar liquids by capillary action. The open-cell EPS is applied in form of trays. It can also be layered with rigid PS in order to improve the mechanical strength of the trays”.

Sirap said its EPS – made with both general purpose and high impact material – was intended for use as a liquid absorber in the storage of fresh meat, poultry and fish. The system has an absorption capacity of 20 g water/dm sq.

The open-cell structure is realised by the use of talc mixed with alkyl (C8-C22) sulphonic acid (salts) as surfactant to increase the wettability of polystyrene.

All the separate components of the system have already been approved under EC Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 and therefore no further toxicological data was needed.

Some migration tests were done in order to gather some non-toxicological data.

The migration analysis results for trays made of open-cell EPS into water and 3% acetic acid for 10 days at 40 degrees Celsius have been provided and demonstrated the compliance with the overall migration limit and the SML for alkyl (C8-C22) sulphonic acid (salts) s established by Commission Regulation (EU) 10/2011.

The panel concluded: “Provided that the provisions of the Commission Regulation (EU) 10/2011 are respected, the CEF Panel concluded that the use of open-cell expanded polystyrene, manufactured with polystyrene, talc and alkyl (C8-C22) sulphonic acid (salts) does not raise a safety concern when used as liquid absorber in contact with fresh meat, poultry and fish”.

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