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TitleMigration of chemicals through coated paperboard for food contact packaging
AuthorSkillington, Pauline
SubjectFood -- Packaging
SubjectPackaging -- Materials
SubjectPaper containers
SubjectFood contamination
SubjectPaper coatings
AbstractThesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Master of Technology: Chemistry in the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology
AbstractPaperboard made from recycled fibres is being used more frequently in direct food packaging applications, in addition to its use as secondary and tertiary packaging. However, recent research has shown that there is a risk that harmful chemicals may migrate from the paperboard into the food. The simplest approach to reducing the migration of these contaminants is the use of barrier films. The barrier efficiencies of these various films can be examined by means of a migration test into a food simulant, followed by extraction in a suitable solvent. The extract can then be analysed by chromatographic techniques such as gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to determine the concentration of the specific contaminants. However on a production level, the availability of this type of highly specialised equipment is limited. A simple, cost effective method is needed to evaluate the barrier properties to specific chemical contaminants. The Heptane Vapour Transmission Rate (HVTR) test is a permeation test method for use at quality control level to determine barrier properties to the migration of organic vapours. The first part of the study focussed on establishing a universal correlation between HVTR and specific migration of diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) that would be applicable to any type of functional barrier. However, experimental data demonstrated this was not possible as the correlation factor linking HVTR to specific migration was largely dependent on the type and morphology of the coating considered. The initial objective of the study was reconsidered in favour of building individual models specific to the nature of the coating and substrate considered. A correlation between HVTR and specific migration of DiBP, DBP and DEHP for a polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) barrier polymer was constructed by varying the applied coating weight. The vapour transport mechanism for the HVTR test and the specific migration test were found to differ, showing that a direct correlation between HVTR and the specific migration was again not possible. However, an indirect correlation could be made. The HVTR method gives an indication of film integrity, whereas the coating weight could be used as an indicator of the specific migration. The correlation between the coating weight and the specific migration yielded an equation that can be used to calculate the specific migration through the PVDC barrier polymer, provided the quantity of the chemical contaminant originally present in the paperboard was known. This equation was specific to the type of barrier polymer, the specific chemical contaminant as well as the intended shelf-life of the food product to be packaged in the paperboard.
PublisherCape Peninsula University of Technology