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Mayr-Melnhof Karton highlights hearing of German BMEL on 4th draft of Mineral Oil Regulation

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Mayr-Melnhof Karton highlights hearing of German BMEL on 4th draft of Mineral Oil Regulation

July 24, 2017 - 10:39

VIENNA, Austria, July 20, 2017 (Press Release) -The German BMEL (Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, German: Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft) has confirmed that all fiber-based food contact materials made from recycled fibers are part of the future regulation as they may contain unintended substances which possibly migrate into food. Therefore all types of packaging – not only the primary and secondary packaging – are included because of the effect of cross-contamination.

The German ministry has also confirmed that packaging with a suitable functional barrier – e.g. functional barrier coatings on the reverse side of a cartonboard – is still the most effective solution to stay below the maximum migration limit of 0.5 mg/kg MOAH. This also applies to other types of food contact materials containing mineral oils due to cross-contamination during transport, storage and on the shelf.

The German ministry has confirmed its intention to submit the draft to the EU Commission for the notification procedure immediately after the interdepartmental coordination of the mineral oil regulation within the German Federal Government.

Detailed Facts about the 4th draft of Mineral Oil Regulation from 24 February 2017

“22. Ordinance for amendments to the regulation of food contact materials”

On the 24 February 2017 the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) has presented the fourth draft of the “22. Ordinance for amendments to the regulation of food contact materials” (mineral oil regulation).

Focus only on Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons

With this draft, the authority is now focusing entirely on Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons (MOAH) and the migration from the food contact material into the foodstuff, §6a (1) “…, that from the food contact material no Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons migrates into foodstuffs.“*

Detection limit raised from 0,15 to 0,5 mg/kg MOAH

The maximum migration value into food has been defined with a limit of 0.5 mg/kg MOAH (C16 to C35). §6a (1) "... Up to a detection limit of 0.5 milligrams of the sum of Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons per kilogram food or food simulants, a migration is deemed not to have occurred."*

"The long-term intended detection limit of 0.15 milligrams per kilogram food / food simulant for the migration of MOAH from food contact materials can currently not be achieved for every foodstuff."*

The distributor is responsible to ensure compliance with the relevant migration limit values.

"§6a (1) Food contact materials made out of paper, paperboard or cartonboard using recovered paper may only be produced and placed on the market if a functional barrier in accordance with §2 (9) ensures that no Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons are migrating from the food contact material into foodstuffs.Definition of functional barriers: §2 (9) functional barrier: a) one or more layers or coatings of a food contact material or b) the wrapping of a foodstuff.“*

Authority indicates exceptions

Furthermore, the authority differentiates between conditions of applications or nature of the foodstuff itself where no migration is expected. The authorities cite frozen food, table salt and dry food with short-term contact as example of this.

Summary

Taking into consideration the whole supply chain, the total migration of the food packaging in retail shelves must be below the current migration limit of 0.5 mg/kg MOAH (C16 to C35), otherwise a functional barrier for food packaging has to be used.

We would be pleased to provide you with further information about the Hearing and the contents of the mineral oil regulation resp. corresponding MMK packaging solutions with functional barriers.