The possibility of using recycled polyethylene terephthalate as a food contact material is being seriously considered, but the potential migration of nonvolatile compounds from it must be assessed to ensure that it is safe to do so. In the study presented here, four samples of recycled PET were each exposed to three food simulants under the harsh extraction conditions stipulated by European legislation regarding migration tests. The nonvolatile compounds that migrated from them were determined by ultra performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry using three different cone voltages, and both positive and negative ionization modes. A total of 36 chemical compounds were detected, some of which were identified, including common additives such as N,N′-di-beta-naphthyl-p-phenylenediamine (antioxidant) and 2,4-di-tert-butyl-6-(5-chloro-2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)phenol (light stabilizer) as well as degradation compounds such as ethylene terephthalate dimers and trimers. In addition, specific migration values of three common components of polyethylene terephthalate (diethylene glycol, terephthalic acid, and isophthalic acid) were determined and found to occur at levels of <1 mg/kg—much lower than the specific migration limits stipulated by European legislation.
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Bentayeb, K., Batlle, R., Romero, J. et al. UPLC–MS as a powerful technique for screening the nonvolatile contaminants in recycled PET. Anal Bioanal Chem 388, 1031–1038 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-007-1341-9
- Recycled PET