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Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2013;30(4):760-70. doi: 10.1080/19440049.2013.766765. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Migration kinetics of mineral oil hydrocarbons from recycled paperboard to dry food: monitoring of two real cases.

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Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


Mineral oil hydrocarbons present in printing inks and recycled paper migrate from paper-based food packaging to foods primarily through the gas phase. Migration from two commercial products packed in recycled paperboard, i.e. muesli and egg pasta, was monitored up to the end of their shelf life (1 year) to study the influence of time, storage conditions, food packaging structure and temperature. Mineral oil saturated and aromatic hydrocarbons (MOSH and MOAH, respectively), and diisopropyl naphthalenes (DIPN) were monitored using online HPLC-GC/FID. Storage conditions were: free standing, shelved, and packed in transport boxes of corrugated board, to represent domestic, supermarket and warehouse storage, respectively. Migration to food whose packs were kept in transport boxes was the highest, especially after prolonged storage, followed by shelved and free-standing packs. Tested temperatures were representative of refrigeration, room temperature, storage in summer months and accelerated migration testing. Migration was strongly influenced by temperature: for egg pasta directly packed in paperboard, around 30 mg kg⁻¹ of MOSH migrated in 8 months at 20°C, but in only 1 week at 40°C. Muesli was contained into an internal polyethylene bag, which firstly adsorbed hydrocarbons and later released them partly towards the food. Differently, the external polypropylene bag, containing pasta and recycled paper tray, strongly limited the migration towards the atmosphere and gave rise to the highest level of food contamination. Tests at increased temperatures not only accelerated migration, but also widened the migration of hydrocarbons to higher molecular masses, highlighting thus a difficult interpretation of data from accelerated simulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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