Foods with at least a few percent of free oil packed in glass jars with metal closures were analyzed for migration of additives, primarily plasticizers, from the gasket of the lid. One hundred and fifty-eight samples were collected in June 2005, i.e., some 10 months after the problem of excessive migration into oily food was communicated to the industry. In a first step, the composition of the additives in the gaskets was determined. Then the compounds found in the lid were measured in the jar content. Sixty-four percent of the gaskets contained epoxidized soy bean oil (ESBO) as principal plasticizer, 22% a phthalate, and 6% substantial amounts of di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA). Concentrations in the food reached 1,170 mg/kg for ESBO, 270 mg/kg for diisononyl phthalate (DINP), 740 mg/kg for diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), 825 mg/kg for di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and 180 mg/kg for DEHA. Further, elevated concentrations of plasticizers not authorized by the EU were found: diisononyl-cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate (DINCH), 2-ethylhexyl palmitate and stearate, as well as epoxidized linseed oil (ELO). The few samples complying with the European rules contained little or well emulsified oil; some others were probably of very recent production (beginning of shelf life). It is concluded that there was still no lid reliably complying with the European rules (EU and national legislation).
Gaskets of metal closures Plasticizers for PVC Migration into oily food Legal limits Phthalates