Database of Food Contact Chemicals

The peer reviewed journal, Environment International, published an article on 30 November 2020 which discusses a database of over 12,000 food contact chemicals which were reviewed by researchers. According to their findings, 608 of these chemicals were found to be “most hazardous.” These 608 materials were prioritized to be high-priority candidates for substitution. According to the article, one quarter of the chemicals listed in the database appear on one or more lists provided by authoritative sources including REACh SVHC, REACh Annex XVII, and California Proposition 65. Review of the article and the database did not reveal the specific list of the final 608 chemicals referred to as “most hazardous.” However, in reviewing the complete list of chemicals, it was found that the following chemicals are examples of over 1400 items listed as “Substance of potential concern identified based on selective non-authoritative sources:”
• Titanium dioxide
• Sodium bicarbonate
• Iron

Some of the substances in the database are well on their way to being replaced, or are already no longer in use, due to being subjects of lists created by food safety authorities around the world. The 1400 items listed under the “potential concern” heading are most troubling. Industry should keep an eye on this project and be prepared to argue against the addition of many of these substances to any authoritative lists.

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Posted on 4 January 2021