Skip to main content

Development of methods of analysis for monomers


Food contact materials made from plastics have been used since many decades. It is known that plastics while in contact with the food may release some of their constituents such as monomers, oligomers or additives to the food which may endanger public health. To meet this situation and to ensure consumer safety, the European Commission has established specific migration limits (SML) from plastics into foodstuffs or maximum quantity limits (QM) in the plastic itself. These limits are layed down in the so-called 'Plastics Directive' 90/128/EEC and the subsequent amendments, however without providing the analytical methods necessary for both enforcement and compliance testing.

It was the aim of the project was to develop pre-validated analytical methods for 36 monomers listed with restrictions either in terms of SML and/or QM values in the positive list of directive 90/128 and its 1st amendment 92/39/EEC.
Project is finished
A European consortium of 13 laboratories from 9 different Member States, under the co-ordination of the 'Fraunhofer-Institute of Food Technology and Packaging' (FhILV) Freising, Germany and the main partner 'TNO-Nutrition and Food Research' Zeist, The Netherlands, has elaborated 33 pre-validated methods of analysis for the determination of the specific migration of a selection of monomers listed with restriction in Directives 90/128/EEC and 92/39/EEC. The working principle of the project was the following:
For each a development laboratory was responsible for method elaboration, establishment of within laboratory precision data and description of the method according to a CEN standard formate. At least a second, independent test laboratory had the task to prove the validity of the described method and to establish a second set of precision data. Stability tests of the analytes under the applied test conditions was another important parameter to be investigated.
In order to allow the establishment of European wide accepted and agreed test methods, the project structure included the involvement of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), in particular of the Technical Sub-Committee CEN TC194/SC1 'General chemical methods of test for materials intended to come into contact with food'. 33 of the established analytical methods have been presented to the working group (WG) 2 'Methods of test for monomers' of CEN TC194/SC1 which has approved them as in principal technically suitable for publication as pre-norms. Taking the multi-national project structure and the above described involvement of CEN TC194/SC1/WG2 into account, the co-ordinators and all other project participants consider the presented methods to be accepted as European wide agreed analytical methods for specific migration determination of the respective monomers. The project consortium proposes the methods to the European Commission for recommendation as 'generally agreed' or as 'useful' methods of analysis to the Member States

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderungder Angewandten Forschung e.V.
Steinerstraße 15
81369 München

Participants (1)

48,Utrechtseweg 48
3700 AJ Zeist