The European Food Safety Authority is re-evaluating styrene for assessing the safety of
food contact materials (FCM) such as polystyrene (PS) and started a systematic review of the data
on migration levels in food. A restriction for styrene is expected in the near future. The main food
contact application of PS is dairy packaging, mainly at refrigerated storage. In this study, seventeen dairy products packed in PS taken from the Italian and German markets were investigated.
Styrene concentrations in the refrigerated dairy products (yogurt, cream) ranged from 5 to 30 µg/kg at the best before date, while in single serving portions of coffee creamer, which were stored at room temperature until the best before date of approx. 190 days, 401 µg/kg were measured. Among several parameters, the ratio between the surface contact area of the package and the quantity of the food packed, the time/temperature conditions of production/filling and storage of the products were identified as the main factors influencing styrene migration into food under realistic conditions.
Yogurts fermented in the pots for approximately 8 h at 40–50 ◦C showed higher styrene levels than those fermented in an incubator and filled at 20 ◦C. The fat content might influence the styrene level but the effect, if any, was too small in relation to the variability of other parameters. Levels of styrene migrating into 50% ethanol food simulant under standardized condition (10 days/40 ◦C) were found to be much higher than levels in refrigerated foods. This raises the question as to whether compliance testing for PS plastics should be adapted taking into consideration the correlation between migration testing by laboratory simulations and migration into real food.
Download full article.
Citation: Guazzotti, V.; Hendrich, V.; Gruner, A.; Fiedler, D.; Störmer, A.;
Welle, F. Migration of Styrene in Yogurt and Dairy Products Packaged in Polystyrene: Results from Market Samples. Foods 2022, 11, 2120. Foods | Free Full-Text | Migration of Styrene in Yogurt and Dairy Products Packaged in Polystyrene: Results from Market Samples