Food contact materials and articles are defined as:
Intended to come into contact with food;
In contact with food or produced for this purpose;
Possible contact with food;
substances and materials whose components are expected to pass to food under normal or foreseeable conditions of use.
All materials that in contact with food and all of its raw materials from production to sale are considered as food contact materials. For example:
Container / tanks / barrels where food is transported
All machinery and equipment used in production and in contact with food
Packing materials such as plastic or cardboard boxes, aluminum bowls that are put into the food during the sale
Bottle, box, cover, gasket, lacquer used in food storage
Promotional materials (game cards in chips, etc.) placed in food
are all considered within this scope.
When it is said food contact materials and articles, the first thing that comes to mind is the packaging materials and packaging materials
used in food. However, it is understood from the definition that food contact materials are not limited to these and they indicate a much wider
use area. Any material in contact with or likely to come into contact with food is considered within this scope.
A sample over the food chain
BIf we take a production line, for example in a bakery;
From the sack where flour is put to packaging of the yeast,
From the kneading batch to the bakery linen and to the blade,
All material, including the packaging material and trays on which the bread
is placed are the materials which the food comes into contact and it can interact with in every way.
These materials come
from many different compositions. For this reason, these materials and their components are at least as important as food in terms of
food safety. This is why the definition of food contact materials and articles is very broad.
How Packaging Equipments and Material should be?
Packaging materials, which are the most common materials and articles that come in contact with food, must be planned by purpose and
applied appropriately for the use with different types of food. As mentioned above, taking into account that all things that come into
contact with food will have positive or negative effects on food, conscious selection of materials used from the production process to
consumption become an important element for producing safe food and delivering it to the consumer as it is produced.
For this reason, all equipment surfaces and packaging materials in the production line and in contact with food must be made from food grade materials,
intended to meet the food safety requirements since they are produce until the final use date given by the manufacturer.
It is important to notice that service materials such as pots, pans, trays, plates, cutlery which are used in mass consumption places,
such as production points, restaurants, cafes, business / school dining halls, etc., in production points such as dairy products and bakery
products and in final sale points such as food expos, delicatessens, market places, may interact with the food.
What is the Importance of Food Contact Material and Substances?
If food contact material is not suitable for food and it may interact with the contact surface, which is a risk to the safety of food.
When the food contact materials are wrongly chosen, there is a possibility of adversely affecting both the health of the consumer and the quality of the food.
Therefore, the materials and storage conditions that are in contact with food after sales and the storage conditions are highly important,
as well as the selection of all surfaces and packaging materials, which are in contact with the food during its production according to the characteristics of food.
Packing materials: according to characteristics of food, must be properly selected to protect the food from external influences during the shelf life given by the
producer and to maintain its own characteristics until the expiry date.
In addition, it is necessary to take precautions in order to prevent the printing components on wrapping and packaging materials from reaching foodstuffs. Also, due to
printing the expiry date and lot numbers at the final stage, the risk of ink spread and contamination should also be avoided.
Is my packaging a safe material?
Is it suitable for the food I produce?
All used packaging materials must meet the requirements of Turkish Food Codex. This responsibility belongs to the food business operator.
For this reason, the enterprises who supply the packaging materials must get a registration number from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and
Livestock and must declare to the food business operator that they are operating in compliance with the legislation.
The traceability of food contact materials and articles is important just like foodstuffs and it is the responsibility
of the food business operator. The enterprise that produces the food contact material should keep the necessary records to ensure traceability,
and perform labeling in accordance with the rules. Food business operators who use this material should also provide traceability with the records they keep.
What are the types of food contact materials and substances?
The food contact materials are made from many different components. The best known are plastic, ceramic, glass, metal, silicone, textile,
paper, wood. In addition to this, although they are not commonly used, cellulose film which are used as cases, waxes and waxy materials are
also the materials which take contact with food.
The types and characteristics of these materials must meet the technological needs and ensure to keep the
quality and safety of the food until the expiry date.
paint on printed materials,
adhesives in the layers,
inks for production and serial numbers printed,
on these types of packaging must be checked.
The characteristics and use conditions of the food should be taken into consideration while selecting packaging materials. In products restricted to multiple layers with various
barriers (as when we think of a juice box, plastic, aluminum, paper and ink), the surface that contacts with food is important.
Selecting the appropriate material for the product and controlling factors that accelerate the migration of undesirable substances will minimize the
food safety risks originated by food contact material. For this reason, choosing a package that will safely preserve food during its intended shelf life and
using food contact materials in appropriate conditions during production will ensure that the product will reach to consumers in a desired way.
What Does Migration of Food Contact Materials and Article mean?
Migration is a term used especially for plastic packaging materials and refers to the transition of plastic components to foodstuffs under various use
conditions. Many monomers, additives and colorants are used in the production of plastic materials.
During official controls in production and later in the market stage, food contact materials are kept in simulants of food items and then this
simulants is analyzed to determine migration value to the foodstuff.
Production and inspection are made by comparing this migration amounts with accepted official limits.
There are different migration limits for different chemicals and they are regulated. It is necessary for the produced plastic material to
meet the relevant legislative requirements. For this reason, it is very important to select the appropriate packaging for the foodstuff,
especially for plastics. Plastic should be used appropriately into foodstuff according to production purposes. Otherwise, a plastic packaging
material can threaten food safety, even if it has been produced in accordance with legislation. If plastic bottles produced for water or similar
foodstuffs are used for oil or vinegar packaging and if there is an unacceptable migration level, then some undesirable chemicals may be transferred
from the plastic to the oil or the vinegar.
What are the Factors Affecting Food Contact Material and Articles Migration?
There are many factors that accelerate the transfer of undesirable substances to food from contact materials, especially in plastic migration. For this reason, these basic factors must
be taken into consideration when selecting materials to be in contact with food.
Factors affecting the transfer of unwanted substances are:
Type of food: The content of food (such as fatty or acidic)
The structure of food: Dry or liquid (liquid food can be more permeable while dry food is less permeable)
Structure of undesirable substance: Permeability of the material according to the chemical structure of the substance and kind of undesired substance
Temperature: Exposition to temperatures much higher or lower than acceptable temperatures for food and material,
Time: When food stays in contact with material for too much time than desirable,
Surface area: Material surface area in contact with food
Improper use: Use of food contact material for purposes other than the intended for use
From this point of view, paying attention to the factors influencing this migration, taking preventive measures and choosing food contact material in accordance to the foodstuff will
ensure that the food is safe from during its shelf life.
What does the legislation cover?
In order to ensure food safety, food contact materials and articles are also controlled under some legal regulations. The Turkish
Food Codex and the Regulation on Foods Contact Materials and Articles contain general regulations on this subject. They also specify
certain rules for colorants used in the production of paper, metal, glass materials, and plastics.
Click for communiqués related to this regulation
Turkish Food Codex Communiqué on Food Contact Materials and Articles with Produced from Regenerated Cellulose Films
Turkish Food Codex Communiqué on Food Contact Ceramic Materials
Turkish Food Codex Communiqué on Food Contact Plastic Material and Article
Turkish Food Codex Communiqué on Food Simulants Used in Migration Testing of Food Contact Plastic Materials and Articles
Turkish Food Codex Communiqué on the Restriction of the Use of Certain Epoxy Derivatives on Food Contact Materials and Articles
In addition, establishments producing such products are evaluated within the scope of the Law No. 5996 and they are registered under the
" Implementing Regulation on Registration Procedures and Good Manufacturing Practices of the Enterprises Producing Material and Article That
Contact with Food”(click for detailed information
"Food Hygiene Regulation"
and to provide controlled production. Businesses that manufacture such materials should
produce them within the framework of these legal regulations.
In addition, food businesses that use food contact materials and article must also use materials that meet the provisions of this legislation.
For this reason, the general and special rules laid down in this legislation must be taken into consideration during materials supply.
Click for detailed information
Click for detailed information
Implementing Regulation on Registration Procedures and Good Manufacturing Practices of the Enterprises Producing Substances and Material That Contact with Food
The basic provisions in the regulation are as follows:
The Regulation covers arrangements for the registration on food contact materials and articles at production and
Retail stages of food contact materials and articles are not within the scope of registration.
If the operator producing food contact materials and articles is operating more than one
in the same address, the total motor power of the tools and equipment used in all activities should be over thirty horsepower or the total
number of employees obliged to work should be more than ten, it should employ one obligatory employee that has specific profession listed at Law no 5996 Annex 1.
The operator establishes, executes and maintains a sustainable quality assurance system that maintains effective and registered records.
The operator installs and executes an effective quality control system.
The operator installs and executes the appropriate registration system, on a written or electronic form,
including the results of the production process and formulation, specifications and quality control system, regarding to the conformity and reliability of the final product.
Click for all regulations.
What are the considering points in food contact substances and materials?
Processes and raw materials as well as packing and packaging materials are factors that affect food safety during the production of food.
Surfaces that come into contact with food should not cause chemical and microbiological contamination.
Packing as well as packing material is also important for food safety.
Consideration should be given to contamination because of mineral oil used in the equipment during packaging and necessary precautionary measures should be taken.
In addition, if printing ink is used contamination may occur, so necessary precautionary measures should also be taken here.
There are many chemicals coming from the nature of these materials or used during their production, and these are much
more in the materials obtained from recycling. Legal limits for risky chemicals have been set for such packaging materials.
The material used must be produced under these conditions. The most important and risky substance for these materials is
formaldehyde. This substance is an important carcinogenic and it is found in recycling papers, so these are prohibited from
use in food contact materials. If such packaging material is used, it must be ensured that recycled material is not used as raw material.
There is an exception in this regard only for fruit and egg viols.
Recycled plastic cannot be used in food contact materials because the chemical load increases in recycled materials, and unwanted substance migrate and also
concentrate. Precautionary measures should be taken that no recycling material is used in the supply of such materials.
In disposable cups, as a foil, it is also often used in the form of inner packaging material, alone or in layers. At the same time,
there is a release limits in this metal, which is also used on machine surfaces used in food production. The materials used must
be within these legal limits. This release is directly related to temperature, time, contact surface area, type of food.
Aluminum materials should not be allowed to come into contact with acidic and salty foods and should only be used in refrigerator
conditions. Uses other than this may pose a risk as aluminum affects the releasing to food. This is restricted in the legislation
as "Aluminum containers and aluminum foil should not be used with acidic and salty food unless covered with a material such as tin,
chrome, lacquer" and this warning has to take place on the label.
How should the use of food contact material be?
All machinery and equipment used in food production, packaging and packaging materials should not be a source of contamination.
It should be used and stored away from the risk to be exposed to contamination.
Instruments and equipment should not be broken, cracked or scratched, and the necessary maintenance and cleaning should be done periodically.
Employees in this regard should be trained on the cleaning and disinfection and use conditions of food contact surfaces when necessary.
Such materials and their use must meet the "Hygiene Regulation of Foods".
What are the symbols used in food contact materials and articles?
Recycled materials cannot be used in food packaging except egg and fruit viols. Which plastic materials are preferred depend on
the type of food. Materials to be used in the production of plastics that come into contact with food should comply with the Turkish
Food Codex Communiqué on Food Contact Plastics Materials.
The materials used as food packaging are the responsibility of the food producer and the food producer must use appropriate food grade materials.
There are materials that are used only for the production or presentation of food, such as pots, plates, etc.,
in which there is no other use besides for food. For this reason, it is not compulsory for these materials to
carry the symbol or the phrase "material is suitable to contact with food". However, if the food contact material
and article is a product that can be used for food and non-food purposes, for example a jar; then “a glass-fork sign”
is used on the material. Thus, this symbol helps us to understand if this material has another use rather than food,
at the same time the material is suitable for food.
Other Packing Signs
There are some signs on the material that will enable recognition of the raw material of the packaging material.
However, these signs do not give information on whether the packaging is suitable for food.
The markings for the recycling and contents of packaging materials are as follows.
"Green Point" on the packaging indicates that the responsibility for the recovery of this packaging belongs to the
organization of the Green Point Organization in that country. This mark belongs to "Packaging Recovery Organization
Europa" which means "The European Packaging Recycling Organization" is used in more than 30 countries in Europe. The
Green Point Group is a member of ÇEVKO Foundation in Turkey. The "Green Point" mark can be used in various colors and sizes.
This is the logo showing that a firm assigns its obligations about packaging residuals to ÇEVKO Foundation who is one of our Accredited Institutions.
This is the logo showing that a firm assigns its obligations about packaging residuals to TUKCEV who is one of our Accredited Institutions
It indicates that the package is recyclable.
The code number of the Ministry of the Environment and Forestry can be used in the way that the code number is marked with the area code.
It indicates that the product is obtained from recycled material.
Code 1 indicates that it is made of polyethylene terephthalate material.
Code 2 indicates that it is made of high density polyethylene material.
Code 3 indicates that it is made of Polyvinyl Chloride material.
Code 4 indicates that it is made of low density polyethylene material.
Code 5 indicates that it is made of polypropylene material.
Code 6 indicates that it is made of polystyrene material.
The code 7 indicates that it is made of a different type of plastic material from the mentioned above.
Code numbers from 20 to 39 indicate that they are manufactured from paper / cardboard materials.
Recycling code numbers from 40 to 49 indicate that they are manufactured from a metallic material.
Recycling code numbers from 70 to 79 indicate that they are made of glass material.