Food Law News - EU - 2009

Commission Midday Express, 29 May 2009

CONTACT MATERIALS - The Commission has adopted a Regulation on active and intelligent packaging

The Regulation will introduce an authorisation scheme for substances used for active and intelligent functions in food contact materials, in particular food packaging. It will require the safety evaluation of such substances by the European Food Safety Authority. A single market will be created for the use of active and intelligent packaging by laying down criteria which ensure their safety while allowing for a competitive position of this new type of packaging.

Active food contact materials and articles are intended to extend the shelf-life or to maintain or improve the condition of packaged food. They incorporate components that would release substances into food or absorb substances from food. Examples are oxygen absorbers or releasers of preservative or flavourings.

Intelligent food contact materials and articles monitor the condition of packaged food or the environment surrounding the food. Examples are indicators for storage temperature or microbial contamination. The proposed Regulation will introduce specific labelling rules and will require the business operator to issue a declaration of compliance so that an adequate information flow on their safe use is ensured throughout the business chain.

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