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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Nov 25;57(22):10675-81. doi: 10.1021/jf902683m.

Analysis and migration of phthalates in infant food packed in recycled paperboard.

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BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Richard-Willstaetter-Strasse 11, D-12489 Berlin, Germany.


The contamination of infant food with substances from its packaging due to migration processes is still a problem. Most recently, great attention was paid to the migration of epoxidized soybean oil (ESBO) and phthalates from twist-off closures into baby food packed in glass jars. Besides, packaging made of recycled fiber materials such as paper and paperboard were found to be the source of contaminants in dry and powdery foodstuffs such as sugar, rice, and maize flour. In this study 20 infant food samples packed in recycled paperboard containers were tested for phthalates and diisopropyl naphthalenes (DIPN), known incorporated substances in recycled paper. Furthermore, the barrier function of different secondary packaging materials (paper and aluminum-coated foil) was investigated. The highest contents of phthalates (mainly diisobutyl phthalate, DiBP) and DIPN in infant food samples were found for those foods packed in inner bags made of paper. Migration experiments were performed under authentic conditions to evaluate possible transfer mechanism (gas phase, direct contact) of phthalate esters into foodstuff. It is shown that paper does not provide an appropriate barrier against migration of semipolar compounds such as phthalates. The air space itself otherwise effectively prevents migration of the less volatile phthalates under the applied conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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