In today’s food and beverage industry, manufacturers continue to turn to high-performance plastics in a range of industrial and consumer applications. However, these materials must receive necessary food contact approvals from relevant organizations around the world. Regulatory agencies ensure end-user safety and help manufacturers produce consumer goods that are safe for contact with food while offering excellent performance. Materials that are not independently certified by organizations like the European Union or Food and Drug Administration must be approved by producers at some point during the manufacturing process, which can delay efficient production. Syensqo certifies our polymers for food contact with the most recognizable global organizations, so our partners can streamline the manufacturing of safe and effective consumer goods.
European Union Food Contact Approval
European Union regulations set out general safety standards for food contact materials and manufacturing practices to ensure these ingredients are safe to use in consumer goods that come in contact with food. The general principles from the EU state that materials must not release any substances into food at levels that are harmful to human health and must not change food composition, taste or odor in an unacceptable way. Certain materials, like plastics, are subject to more specific measures through the EU to ensure safety and performance, and these measures are changed regularly as new research is developed. By certifying our materials with the European Food Safety Authority, Syensqo aids manufacturers in maximizing efficiency in production processes.
United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Approval
The Food and Drug Administration requires the certification of food contact materials (FCMs) to ensure product safety in the United States. Each individual substance within FCMs must be regulated and approved per FDA regulations, and if any component within an FCM is not approved, the material as a whole will not be certified. If there is a risk that an FCM can migrate to food, then it must be covered by an additional regulation, such as meeting the criteria for Generally Recognized As Safe status or having a prior sanction letter. Many of Syensqo’s high-performance polymers for food contact applications have been approved in accordance with FDA criteria.
China Food Contact Approval
In China, food contact materials are regulated by the China Food Safety Law, which ensures only FCMs that comply with Chinese Food Safety Standards can be imported, used or purchased in the country. There are numerous national and industry standards related to food packaging in China that material suppliers like Syensqo must adhere to in order to ensure chemicals are not transferred from polymeric FCMs into the food it comes in contact with. To acquire food contact approval from China, materials must be thoroughly tested in realistic end-use conditions to guarantee compliance and product safety.
NSF/ANSI 51 Approval
As one of the food industry’s most widely recognized and requested certifications, this national standard from the United States is a necessary approval for many competitive food contact manufacturers. NSF/ANSI 51 establishes minimum food protection and sanitation requirements for materials used in commercial food applications, such as plastic-based materials, tubing, sealing, gaskets or valves. Achieving NSF/ANSI 51 approval helps manufacturers ensure a high standard of performance and reliability in materials for food contact applications.