Silver nanoparticle release from commercially available plastic food containers into food simulants
- 948 Downloads
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are currently being used in many different kinds of consumer products in order to take advantage of their antimicrobial properties. However, the potential migration of silver nanoparticles into food and subsequent consumer exposure has hardly been addressed. In the current study, we investigated four brands of commercially available plastic food storage containers and measured the total amount of silver, particle size and number concentration, and the migration rates into three different food simulants (Milli-Q grade water, 10 % ethanol, and 3 % acetic acid) for 10 days at 40 °C. The experimental setup was made according to the European Commission Directive (EU 10/2011) for articles intended to be in contact with food. The total amount of silver in plastic containers and migration solutions was quantified by ICP-MS analysis, and the size of the migrated particles was investigated by single particle ICP-MS and TEM-EDS. The total mass and median size of released particulate Ag were generally highest in 3 % acetic acid for three out of four food container brands. The total content of silver in the containers varied from 13 to 42 µg/g. The highest migration was observed in the 3 % acetic acid food simulant for all four brands of containers, with total silver release up to 3.1 ng/cm2 after 10 days. In conclusion, the experimental results show that silver has the potential of migrating into food, especially when in contact with more acidic substances.
KeywordsSilver nanoparticles Consumer products Nanoparticle release Consumer exposure Environmental and health effects Food safety
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007–2013] under EC-GA No. 604305 ‘SUN.’ We sincerely thank our lab technicians Susanne Kruse and Sinh Hy Nguyen for their contribution to this work.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there are no competing interests.
- Bott J, Störmer A, Franz R (2011) A comprehensive study into the migration potential of nano silver particles from food contact polyolefins. In: Benvenuto MA et al. (ed) Chemistry of food, food supplements, and food contact materials: from production to plate. American Chemical Society, pp 51–70Google Scholar
- CFS (2014) Press release: nonprofits sue EPA for failure to regulate novel pesticide products created with nanotechnology. http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/3664/nonprofits-sue-epa-for-failure-to-regulate-novel-pesticide-products-created-with-nanotechnology. Accessed June 2015
- Chemical Watch (2011) Nanosilver producers refute German institute’s warning. Global Business Briefing, Chemical WatchGoogle Scholar
- Commission European (2011) Commission Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011 of 14 January 2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food. Off J Eur Commun 50:1–89Google Scholar
- DuPont (2013) DuPont™ Ti-Pure® titanium dioxide. http://www2.dupont.com/Titanium_Technologies/en_US/tech_info/literature/Plastics/DTT_H88383-9_Plastics_Grade.pdf. Accessed June 2015
- EFSA (2006) Opinion of the Scientific Panel on food additives, flavourings, processing aids and materials in contact with food (AFC) on a request related to a 12th list of substances for food contact materials. EFSA J 395–401:1–21Google Scholar
- Lin Q, Li H, Zhong H, Zhao Q, Xiao D, Wang Z (2014) Migration of Ti from nano-TiO2-polyethylene composite packaging into food simulants. Food Addit Contam 31(7):1284–1290Google Scholar
- SCENIHR (2013) Opinion on Nanosilver: safety, health and environmental effects and role in antimicrobial resistance. Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, European Union doi: 10.2772/76851
- Smirnova VV, Krasnoiarova OV, Pridvorova SM, Zherdev AV, Gmoshinskii IV, Kazydub GV, Popov KI, Khotimchenko SA (2012) Characterization of silver nanoparticles migration from package materials destined for contact with foods. Vopr Pitan 81:34–39 (Article in Russian) Google Scholar
- Song H, Li B, Lin Q, Wu H, Chen Y (2011) Migration of silver from nanosilver–polyethylene composite packaging into food simulants. Food Addit Contam 28:1758–1762Google Scholar
- The Nanodatabase (2015) http://Nanodb.dk. Accessed November 2015
- The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) (2013). http://www.nanotechproject.org. Accessed June 2015
- US EPA (2014) News release: EPA takes action to protect public from an illegal nano silver pesticide in food containers; Cites NJ Company for Selling Food Containers with an Unregistered Pesticide Warns Large Retailers Not to Sell these Products. http://Yosemite.Epa.Gov/Opa/Admpress.Nsf/0/6469952cdbc19a4585257cac0053e637?OpenDocument. Accessed June 2015
- World Health Organization (2004) Guidelines for drinking-water quality: recommendations, vol. 1. World Health OrganizationGoogle Scholar