May polypropylene films be a sufficiently effective functional barrier for foods packed in recycled paperboard and stored at room temperature?

  • Maurus Biedermann
  • Sandra Biedermann-Brem
  • Koni Grob
Short communication


Bags or films of biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) are widely used for packing dry foods in paperboard boxes. At room temperature, BOPP films may perform adequately as functional barrier against the migration of substances from recycled paperboard into foods. However, among other factors, the barrier efficiency strongly depends on temperature. With a glass transition temperature of around 0 °C, it still has some residual crystalline structure, but gradually loses it with every degree of rising temperature. For example, we show that at 22 °C the barrier is about 4.5-times longer effective than at 28 °C. From our results we conclude that BOPP films optimized with regard to barrier properties may adequately protect packed food against contaminants from recycled paperboard for fairly long time periods, provided temperatures are in the lower range of room temperatures.


Glass transition Barrier test Migration from recycled paperboard Internal bag Storage temperature 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kantonales Labor Zürich (Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zürich)ZurichSwitzerland

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