Introduction to Food Contact Materials, Products, Regulations and Testing

Upcoming course dates

Nov 22-23 2017 - £660.00

May 16-17 2018 - £660.00

Nov 21-22 2018 - £660.00

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Course duration: 2 days 

Shawbury Shropshire, UK


This course will take place over 2 days, commencing at 10.15 a.m. on the first day and finishing at 3.15 p.m. on the 2nd day. 

The course will give participants an understanding of how a wide-range of polymeric and polymer-based materials (e.g. plastics, rubbers, coatings, inks etc.) are used in an extensive range of food contact products (e.g. packaging, processing equipment, cooking utensils etc) and which additives, monomers and other constituents from these materials need to be considered with respect to potential migration into food.

The skill set of the providers is clearly world class and it has been a privilege to listen to them

Rikki Speakman (Diageo Global Supply)

The course will also provide an overview of the food contact regulations that are in place in Europe, the USA and other parts of the world, how these regulations and guidelines impact on the various classes of food contact products and what regulatory changes are to be expected in the future.

Migration testing is vital to ensure compliance with the regulations and guidelines the   analytical methodology,   instrumentation and sample preparation for the range of specific and   overall migration testing that is necessary to asess the   safety of food contact materials will be described to assist attendees' understanding of why specific tests are undertaken and what they can achieve.

Very good, knowledgeable staff, good content

Simon Pears (FFP Packaging Solutions)

Food contact materials and articles   is an area where many technological developments are taking place to improve food safety (e.g. active and intelligent packaging) and to increase the sustainability of the sector, e.g. use of recycled materials and redesign of food packaging to aid recycling.  Some of these developments will be highlighted along with possible future trends in the industry.

Work shop exercises are included to consolidate understanding.

Course Objectives

Participants will receive the information to be able to: 

  • Appreciate the roles and functions that polymeric materials play in food contact materials.
  • Target the regulations and guidelines   required for their products
  • Understand the role that migration testing plays in regulatory approval
  • Make informed decisions when developing new products
  • Make the best use of the information obtained from test results

Course Content

Short Introduction to Polymer Science and the factors that affect migration into food

Overview of polymer materials
Origin of migrants from polymer products
Mechanisms that influence the migratory behaviour of polymers

Food Contact Regulations and Guidelines

  • EU Regulations
  • Council of Europe Regulations
  • National Regulations in Europe, e.g. German
  • US FDA Regulations
  • Food Contact legislation in the BRIC countries
  • Industry and corporate guidance documents, e.g. EuPIA, CEPE and Nestle
  • Future direction of regulations

Classes of Food Contact Polymers and their Potential Migrants

Overview of polymers and polymeric products used to produce food contact materials and articles.
Overview of potential migrants from a range of food contact products, e.g.: 

  • Plastics, Rubbers and Thermosets
  • Silicone materials - rubbers, resins, fluids and pastes
  • Inks and coatings
  • Adhesives
  • Paper and board
  • Other non-polymeric materials, e.g. metals, ceramics, glass
  • Laminate materials

Application of Food Contact Regulations to Specific Products

The principal classes of food contact products will be targeted:

  • Plastics
  • Rubbers
  • Inks
  • Coatings
  • Silicone based products

Use of Recycled Materials for Food Contact Products

  • Plastics
  • Paper and Board
  • Status of other materials, e.g. rubber

Assessing the Safety of Food Contact Materials

  • Overall migration tests
  • specific migration tests
  • Fatty food stimulants
  • Aqueous food stimulants
  • Specific migration tests
  • Analytical approaches and techniques
  • Techniques used for the fingerprinting of potential migrants
  • Determination of specific species in food stimulants and food products
  • Analysis of food stimulants
  • Analysis of food products
  • Quality control of testing regimes
  • Toxicological assessment of migrants
  • Computer modelling of migration

Improving the Safety of Food Contact Materials and Future Trends in Food Contact Materials

  • Active packaging
  • Intelligent packaging
  • Nanotechnology
  • Barrier coatings
  • Developments in additives, including:
  • Antibacterial additives
  • Non-or low migratory additives
  • Additives that give non-toxic breakdown/reaction products


Workshops will be run during the course, e.g.:

  • migration testing protocols, methods and testing regimes
  • application of food contact legislation to multi-layer, multi-material products

Who Will Benefit?

This course will benefit:

  • Packaging Product Designers
  • Product Development Technologists
  • Food Scientists and Technologists
  • Technical Service Managers
  • Food Processing Engineers
  • Purchasing and procurement personnel

However, products based on polymeric materials (plastics, rubbers, resins etc) are used in all areas of the food industry and people in various sectors (manufacture, packaging, retailing and catering etc.) need to have an understanding of the roles and functions that they have, the regulations that apply and the testing that needs to be conducted to ensure regulatory compliance.  

Presenter Information

Martin Forrest, MSc., PhD., Principal Consultant - Smithers Rapra

Tom Forsyth, BSc,  Principal Consultant - Smithers Rapra

You can read more about the Presenters by clicking on their expert profiles.