The increased demand for environmentally friendly packaging is leading to a shift in the use of food contact materials. Instead of fossil-based plastics, companies need to develop substitute materials, taking into account not only the environment but also consumer safety. Alternatively, packaging waste can also be reduced by selling food in bulk where costumers often use their own containers. This study investigates the new trends regarding food contact materials as well as their potential health risks.
This research project aims to assess potential health risks related to substitute materials for fossil-based plastic food contact materials (FCM) and food bought and sold in bulk. Bulk foods are defined as food items offered in large quantities, which can be purchased by consumers using their own containers.
Both trends have in common that they can represent an allergenic risk. While for substitute materials the risk is mostly related to the starting materials, the allergenic risks of bulk sales are oriented to potential cross contamination and accessibility/traceability of allergen information throughout the supply chain.