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Migration of plasticizers from the gaskets of lids into oily food in glass jars: a European enforcement campaign


The results of a joint European enforcement campaign are described. The two governmental food control laboratories in Stuttgart/Germany and Zürich/Switzerland analyzed the migration of the plasticizers from the gaskets of lids into food in glass jars for 411 products collected by the authorities of 21 European countries. Of these products, 308 contained free edible oil in contact with the gasket and were considered relevant for further evaluation. In 74 of the relevant products (24 %), either non-authorized plasticizers had been used or the migration exceeded the legal limits, in some cases for several parameters and by up to more than a factor of 10. Most of the products were 1–4 years from the end of their shelf life. Taking into account that migration proceeds throughout storage, sometimes even accelerates, limits are likely to be exceeded for many more products by the end of the shelf life. Polyadipate showed the lowest migration. Promising gaskets are either plasticized exclusively with a polyadipate or with combinations of substances. Joint enforcement is cost-effective, particularly when chemical analysis is demanding; accumulation of experience facilitates the evaluation of results, and joint measures are promising to be more effective.

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Correspondence to Koni Grob.

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McCombie, G., Harling-Vollmer, A., Morandini, M. et al. Migration of plasticizers from the gaskets of lids into oily food in glass jars: a European enforcement campaign. Eur Food Res Technol 235, 129–137 (2012).

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  • Plasticized PVC
  • Preserves in glass jars
  • Epoxidized soybean oil (ESBO)
  • Polyadipates
  • Migration into oil food