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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379832

Research Project: Development, Evaluation, and Validation of Technologies for the Detection and Characterization of Chemical Contaminants in Foods

Location: Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology Research

Title: Non-targeted screening of chemicals migrating from paper-based food packaging by GC-Orbitrap mass spectrometry

Author
item Sapozhnikova, Yelena

Submitted to: Talanta
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/12/2021
Publication Date: 1/12/2021
Citation: Sapozhnikova, Y.V. 2021. Non-targeted screening of chemicals migrating from paper-based food packaging by GC-Orbitrap mass spectrometry. Talanta. Volume 226: PP 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2021.122120.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2021.122120

Interpretive Summary: Over 10,000 chemicals are intentionally used in the manufacturing of food contact materials, but information on their identity, potential migration into foods, and effects on human health is lacking. We investigated migration of chemicals from paper-based food packaging materials: butcher paper, liquid egg containers, pizza boxes and pizza box insert liners. State of the art high resolution accurate mass instrumentation - gas chromatograph (GC) with Orbitrap mass spectrometer (MS) was used to identify migrated chemicals with high confidence. Several classes of migrating chemicals were identified, and some were reported for the first time. This information will guide recommendations on the safety of chemicals in food packaging and shall provide a science-based foundation for the development of risk management strategies to protect human health.

Technical Abstract: The aim of this study was to identify chemicals migrating from paper-based food packaging materials by GC-Orbitrap mass spectrometry (MS). Migration tests were conducted with samples of butcher paper, liquid egg containers, pizza boxes and pizza box liners. A new software for an automated data processing of GC-Orbitrap EI data, Compound DiscovererTM, was used and evaluated. A total of 35 migrated chemicals were putatively identified, representing natural compounds from wood and plants, fatty acid ethyl esters, chemicals listed as the FDA substances added to food and FDA Indirect Additives in Food Contact Substances, common phthalates, long linear and branched alkanes, siloxanes, ketones, chemicals used as additives in packaging, and some unexpected compounds we suspect are degradation products of additives. Dibutyl phthalate and benzophenone were semi-quantified, and their calculated specific migration levels (SML) were below the regulated values. For 8 migrated chemicals found in our study, no previously reported information was found, and to the best of our knowledge they are reported here for the first time.