Release of aluminium and thallium ions from uncoated food contact materials made of aluminium alloys into food and food simulant
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A description of the experience
PLoS One. 2018 Jul 23;13(7):e0200778. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200778. eCollection 2018.
Release of aluminium and thallium ions from uncoated food contact materials made of aluminium alloys into food and food simulant.
Sander S1, Kappenstein O1, Ebner I1, Fritsch KA1, Schmidt R1, Pfaff K1, Luch A1.
In order to investigate the release of aluminium ions from food contact materials, three different types of uncoated aluminium menu trays for single use were tested with the foodstuffs sauerkraut juice, apple sauce and tomato puree, as well as with the food simulants 5 g/L citric acid solution and artificial tap water.
To mimic a consumer relevant exposure scenario, the aluminium trays were studied using time and temperature gradients according to the Cook & Chill method, also taking into account storage time at elevated temperatures during the delivery period.
The release of aluminium was found to exceed the specific release limit (SRL) of 5 mg aluminium per kilogram of food specified by the Council of Europe by up to six times.
Furthermore, a release of thallium was also detected unexpectedly. Kinetic studies showed a comparable behaviour in the release of aluminium, manganese and vanadium as components of the aluminium alloy itself.
In contrast, thallium could be identified as a surface contaminant or impurity because of an entirely different kinetic curve. Kinetic studies also allowed activation energy calculations. Additional camping saucepans were tested as an article for repeated use. In three subsequent release experiments with citric acid (5 g/L), artificial tap water and tomato puree as benchmark foodstuffs, the results were comparable to those of the uncoated wrought alloy aluminium trays.