Risk Assessment: analysis and management in the FCM context

Blog - 29 Marzo 2021
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An analysis conducted on the risk assessment allows companies and administrations to meet the increasingly high standards of safety in the FCM context. Indeed, food contact materials are subject to increasingly demanding regulatory procedures and assessment processes that ensure the hasty identification of threats to human health: companies around the world are required to comply with the evolution of several regulatory processes.

FCM Quality Standard

FCM (Food Contact Material) is an anacronym that includes all those materials and objects that come in contact with food. As described by REG (CE) N.1935/2004, art. 2nd paragraph 2nd letter (a), they must be produced according to good manufacturing practices and with the use of components that do not represent a threat to human health, and do not lead to a deterioration of the organoleptic properties of products. The requirement is, in the next few years, to comply with the European Green Deal and to search for new sustainable solutions in the manufacture of new materials and to invest in innovative and environmentally friendly technologies.

New challenges for worldwide companies

Companies in the management of products or materials in contact with food, such as packaging manufacturers, must therefore adopt risk assessment processes to evaluate the risks associated with their products: the goal will be both to comply with new and future legislation and to respond efficiently and punctually to the requests of customers who are increasingly aware of international standards. In order to reach this goal, it is necessary to adopt a process of research and specific investigation aimed at precisely defining the performance and food safety requirements of the material which will be in contact with food.

The concern of microplastics

Recently, the concern of microplastics has been at the center of many international discussions. Defined as polymeric materials derived from the degradation of plastics, microplastics are found in the environment, transported by wind and floods. It is estimated that every year in the European Union about 50,000 tons of microplastics are used, of which 42,000 tons are released into the environment and in particular into the oceans, contaminating it with certified risks for the health and the planet.

Generally, microplastics are divided into:

  • primary microplastics: directly released into the environment. This category includes those microplastics intentionally used in products such as cosmetics or generated from the abrasion of tires while driving and washing synthetic fabrics.
  • secondary microplastics: originating from the wear and tear of certain objects or materials.

The challenge in the years to come will be to limit microplastic contamination as much as possible, also by investing in alternative materials and technologies.

LabAnalysis and Laser Lab, in addition to having divisions dedicated to FCM analysis, are committed to the research of microplastics in different matrices, also studying ad hoc protocols to assess the potential release from packaging and food machinery.

Check out in the webinar Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment in Food Contact during which, among the various topics scheduled, our Head of Food Contact and DSM, Michela Gallo, will present a speech on Microplastics: potential release from packaging and food devices, also showing specific images of the morphologies with which microplastics can occur as a result of different contamination phenomena.

If you want to attend the event, click on this link!

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