Mineral oil migration: Five German associations issue joint statement on successful completion of DIN SPEC 5010 project

Read so far

Mineral oil migration: Five German associations issue joint statement on successful completion of DIN SPEC 5010 project

May 16, 2018 - 07:28

FRANKFURT, Germany, May 16, 2018 (Press Release) -Five associations from the supply chain for fibre-based packaging solutions for food recently liaised with numerous other project partners from industry, the research community and test institutes to agree on a method for the “Testing of paper and board – determination of the migration of mineral oil hydrocarbons from food contact materials manufactured from pulp containing recycled paper or board”, that was published in April by Beuth-Verlag as DIN SPEC 5010.

The associations involved are VDP The German Pulp and Paper Association, FFI Folding Carton Association, VDW German Corrugated Board Association, VPWP German Association for Corrugated Based Papers and BLL German Federation of Food Law and Food Science.

Attention was drawn to mineral oil hydrocarbons in connection with food packaging after it was discovered in 2009 that they can be found in packaging made from recycled board or paper and can migrate into food. Printing inks containing mineral oil, which are used primarily in newspaper printing, were identified as the main source of the hydrocarbons in recycled paper.

With DIN SPEC 5010, a standardised measuring process is now available, with which paper and board that are manufactured from pulp containing recycled materials and are provided with an integrated barrier can be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of their barrier properties. The measuring process can be applied in this context to unprocessed paper and board (in reels or sheets), as it enables the migration levels of the different barrier board solutions available on the market to be determined.

The manufacturers of such fibre-based paper and board with a barrier function are familiar with the individual processing conditions for their barrier products and pass relevant information about, for example, creasing requirements and possible packaging designs on to their customers. The converters are able as a result to estimate the level of migration from the finished packaging used for a specific application in the context of their risk evaluation procedures on the basis of the migration levels calculated for the unprocessed materials in accordance with DIN SPEC 5010.


The German Pulp and Paper Association (VDP) is the central association of the German pulp and paper industry and is based in Bonn. 105 companies and seven regional associations are affiliated with it. VDP accounts for more than 90 per cent of the industry’s production and sales and is therefore the spokesman for and representative of the interests of the biggest national paper industry in Europe. The paper industry in Germany is the largest in Europe. At the global level, it is in fourth position after China, the USA and Japan. A total of about 3,000 different paper grades are manufactured, with sales of EUR 14.7 billion and annual production of 22.9 million tonnes. The industry in Germany employs about 40,000 people at about 160 production locations.


Since 1948, Folding Carton Association (FFI) has been representing the interests of more than 60 companies with over 80 production locations that manufacture about 860,000 tonnes of folding cartons per year, amounting to a production value of about EUR 1.86 billion. The members of the FFI account for roughly two thirds of the industry’s sales. The folding carton industry has about 9,500 employees from numerous professions, including such industry-specific ones as packaging engineers, printers, packaging technicians, packaging developers or media designers as well as commercial, technical and logistic professions. The industry is currently training about 700 apprentices and has a long tradition of being a future-oriented and responsible employer. FFI supports its members by providing them with a wide range of products and services; in doing so, it helps them to make sustained improvements in their competitive position. The range of committees and information provided by FFI is unique anywhere in Europe. FFI works systematically on transferring know-how and increasing skill levels via information events and training seminars as well as via manuals, guidelines, samples and checklists.


German Corrugated Board Association (VDW) represents the interests of the corrugated board manufacturers and processors that are located in Germany. The 28 corporate members with 93 plants account for 80% of the industry’s sales. The German corrugated board industry currently has over 19,000 employees, who produce more than 10 billion m² of corrugated board a year and generate sales of more than EUR 5 billion as a result. Corrugated board is manufactured from renewable raw materials (pulp fibre and starch) containing a large proportion of recycled fibres. Recycled fibre material accounts for more than 80% of corrugated board at the present time. Manufacturers of food and related products are the biggest customers for corrugated board packaging (more than 35%).


German Association for Corrugated Based Papers is one of the associations that belong to The German Pulp and Paper Association. It is committed to the interests of the manufacturers of corrugated board base papers and core board. German Association for Corrugated Based Papers represents 28 corporate members that account for about 96% of the industry. 8.3 million tonnes of all the different corrugated board base paper grades were produced in 2017.


German Federation of Food Law and Food Science (BLL) is the central association of the German food industry. More than 500 trade associations and companies from the entire food chain – industry, retail trade, craft businesses, agriculture and associated areas – as well as numerous individual members belong to it. BLL focusses on many different issues in the interests of its members, such as the requirements and general legal conditions for food packaging. Lawyers and natural scientists co-operate on an interdisciplinary basis at BLL. The assignments carried out by BLL include the development of European, German and international food legislation as well as the provision of active support to the relevant natural science disciplines. BLL also interacts with the political and scientific communities, administrative authorities, consumer organisations and the media.