Knowledge Center: Article

Do your food contact materials comply with legislation?

Using olive oil for migration testing

Food contact materials are all materials and items that come into contact with food, including packages, wrappers, transport belts and containers (also shipping containers). Since safety is paramount with any food product, food contact materials are subject to strict legislation which includes precise information about test protocols. But navigating the complex regulations can be difficult for food manufacturers and producers of food contact materials.

To comply with legislation, data about food contact materials has to be available throughout the supply chain, from basic materials to finished product. TRISKELION has over 50 years of analytical experience of food contact materials and in-depth knowledge of the relevant regulations governing the food contact material product chain. In addition to high-quality migration testing and screening, we are your trusted partner for compliance certification for EU 10/2011, FDA, Dutch Warenwet, BfR (Germany), Swiss Ordinance and other legislation. We can even petition the authorities for the inclusion of new substances in the list of permitted components.

Migration testing

To assess the safety of food contact materials, TRISKELION performs migration tests to determine whether the components of the packaging (Intentionally Added Substances) migrate into the food, and if so, how much, and whether they pose a health risk. In addition, we test for the migration, amount and health impact of Non-Intentionally Added Substances. These include by-products of the packaging manufacture process. The tests determine the specific migration of a target compound against its specific migration limit (SML) and the overall migration level (OML) of all extractives.

To perform these migration tests, the food contact material is placed into contact with a ‘simulant’, which is often a simplification of a food system. Most of these simulants are acidic ethanol mixtures, Modified PolyPhenylene Oxide (MPPO) for dry food or vegetable oil for fatty food.

Accurate analysis with vegetable oil

At TRISKELION, testing with vegetable oil is performed using olive oil, sunflower oil or sometimes Miglyol. Testing with vegetable oil involves additional steps that make this particular migration test complex and laborious, but we believe it is necessary. Although the regulations state that 95% ethanol and isooctane can be used if it’s not technically feasible to test with vegetable oil, these substitute simulants cannot be used just for convenience. This is what sets TRISKELION apart from other laboratories that avoid testing with oil and only offer testing with the other fatty food simulants. We always perform overall migration tests for fatty food using vegetable oil at the least since substitute simulants might lead to overestimation of actual migration levels. In this way, you can be sure that your compliance certification is of the highest quality.

Do you want to ensure that your food contact materials comply with the necessary regulations? Please get in touch with Mireille de Groot: +31 65 000 74 71 or

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Do you want to ensure that your food contact materials comply with the necessary regulations?

Please get in touch with Mireille de Groot: +31 65 000 74 71 or