UK to study allergen risk to biobased food packaging

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In the United Kingdom, the Food Standards Agency has convened a commission to study whether there are any risks to switching from traditional, petrochemical-based food packaging materials to biobased ones.

The move comes shortly after science center Fera found that biobased food contact materials could transfer potential allergens to food. These include milk and egg proteins, soya, corn, gluten, and seed oils. Fera said it would be “prudent” to evaluate this risk.

“With an increasing number of different biobased food contact materials coming onto the market, this review has shown that more work needs to be carried out to better identify the benefits and potential risks associated with these new materials,” Rick Mumford, FSA director of science, evidence, and research. “We will continue to work with businesses as they look to more sustainable packaging alternatives to ensure that the materials they use are safe and fit for purpose.”