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Scientific Advances and Challenges in Safety Evaluation of Food Packaging Materials

ILSI North America Food & Chemical Safety Committee - Packaging Workshop
Washington, D.C., USA
September 27, 2016

Background Information

Packaging is an indispensable component of the food manufacturing and food supply process. It is a system for preserving the safety and quality of food products throughout the distribution chain to consumer. In addition to containing the food products, food packaging serves the important functions of protecting food products from outside influences and damage, as well as providing consumers with ingredient and nutritional information. Materials that have traditionally been used in food packaging include: glass, metals, paper and paperboards, and plastics. These materials and the other materials (i.e. inks, adhesives, coatings, etc.) used in food packaging have the potential to come in contact with food presenting the possibility of unwanted chemical substances migrating into the food. To ensure safe use of packaging materials and food contact materials, regulatory agencies around the globe have conducted research and developed both guidance and regulations for materials intended to come into contact with food.

 

As research to improve food packaging continues, the objective of this full-day workshop is to provide a scientific forum to discuss the state of the science on toxicology, exposure and risk assessment as it relates to the safety of food packaging. It will bring together scientists from government, academia and industry to discuss the advances in science which demonstrates the safety of food packaging, identifies research gaps and gains consensus on the path forward on how to fill those research gaps. The opening session of this workshop will focus on scientific challenges in safety assessment of food packaging materials. Experts from this field will present on analytical methods for safety evaluation of packaging materials, nanomaterials in food packaging, migration of contaminant residues from food packaging and use of improved exposure assessment models for food packaging materials. The second half of the workshop will focus on recycled packaging and sustainability. Experts will discuss the application of recycled materials in food packaging, recycling processes, contaminant residues from recycled packaging, challenges in safety assessment of recycled materials and emerging innovations and technologies in food packaging.  These presentations will prepare the audience for panel discussions covering the advancements in analytical methodologies and their utilization in safety assessment of packaging materials, the challenges in utilizing recycled packaging materials in food contact applications, and the challenges in identification and safety evaluation of non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) in food contact materials with the goal of identifying areas where additional research is needed. ILSI North America has invited key members from government, academia, and industry to participate as both speakers and panelists. In an effort to facilitate a productive discussion, the panels will be moderated by ILSI North America member scientists of the ILSI North America Technical Committee on Food and Chemical Safety. The panel discussions will conclude with generating ideas of how to communicate these complex issues to broader audiences, including the public. This is a unique feature of the workshop and will provide insights into how the scientific community can work to effectively communicate the information resulting from the workshop. 

Proceedings of the workshop will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and will be posted on this webpage in the future.  

Agenda

Welcome 
Mansi Krishan, ILSI North America

Introduction 
Ron Osborn, ILSI North America Member Scientist

Challenges in Safety Assessment of Food Packaging Materials- Toxicology -
Jason Aungst, Division of Food Contact Notifications, U.S. FDA - Video

Challenges in Safety Assessment of Food Packaging Materials – Chemistry
Kirk Arvidson, Division of Food Contact Notifications, U.S. FDA - Video

Migration of Contaminant Residues from Food Packaging
Greg Pace, Sun Chemical Corporation - Video

Analytical Methods for Evaluating Components of Food Packaging Materials
Tim Begley, U.S. FDA - Video

Use of New/Improved Tools and Exposure Assessment Models for Food Packaging Materials
Cian O' Mahony, Crème Global - Video

US Regulatory Perspective
Paul Honigfort, Division of Food Contact Notifications, U.S. FDA - Video

Global Regulatory Perspective
Jim Huang, ILSI North America Member Scientist - Video

Panel Discussion - Video
Moderator: Ron Osborn, ILSI North America Member Scientist
Panelists: Jason Aungst, Kirk Arvidson, Greg Pace, Tim Begley, Cian O’Mahony, Paul Honigfort

  • In light of advancements in analytical methodologies which are allowing for progressively lower detection limits resulting in unexpected chemicals being detected in air, water, food, etc., how do we access and utilize this information for safety assessment of packaging materials?
  • How do we evaluate the safety of nanomaterials in food packaging?
  • In terms of assessing the safety of packaging materials, how much is enough?

Sustainability and Packaging: Process of Recycling Packaging Materials and Recycled Materials in Food Packaging
Susan Selke, Michigan State University - Video

Contaminant Residues in/from Recycled Paper-Paperboard and Plastics: Contaminant Identification, Food Safety Concerns and Regulatory Controls
Vanee Komolprasert, Division of Food Contact Notifications, U.S. FDA - Video

Case Studies:
i. Mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSHs) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAHs)
Stephen Klump, Nestle - Video

ii. a) Di-isopropylnapthalene; and b) Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)
Paul Honigfort, Division of Food Contact Notifications, U.S. FDA - Video

Emerging Innovations and Technologies in Food Packaging
Young Kim, Virginia Tech University - Video

Panel Discussion - Video
Moderator: Doug Copen, ILSI North America Member Scientist
Panelists: Susan Selke, Vanee Komolprasert, Stephen Klump, Paul Honigfort, Jim Huang, Young Kim

  • What are the challenges in utilizing recycled packaging materials in food contact applications and how do we address these challenges?
  • What are the challenges in identification and safety evaluation of non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) in food contact materials? What are the potential approaches for considering NIAS in the risk assessment of food contact materials?
  • The challenges of communicating scientific information to a nonscientific audience, particularly the importance of communicating the entire story (example- what we know, what we don’t know, not just what we want them to know) while making the information as relevant as possible.

Concluding Remarks
Doug Copen, ILSI North America Member Scientist