Phthalates in soft PVC products used in food production equipment and in other food contact materials on the Danish and the Nordic Market 2013-2014

Jens Højslev Petersen, Lisbeth Krüger Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

644 Downloads (Pure)


Food contact materials (FCM) containing phthalates can be a source of food contamination when used in plastics for food production equipment, in utensils for food contact and in packaging. Since 2008 several of the phthalates used for FCM were regulated in the EU; some of them because they were well-known endocrine disruptors. Results of the Danish Food Authorities control in 2008 and 2009 showed 23 % non-compliant samples. Critical FCMs turned out to be those made from plasticised PVC and sold as suitable for contact with fatty foodstuffs. Targeted follow up control campaigns were therefore arranged by the Danish food authorities (latest in 2013) and by the Nordic food authorities in a common campaign in 2014.
FCM plastics were analysed for phthalate content and when needed additionally tested for migration of phthalates according to the declared area of use with respect to food type, contact temperature and time in contact with food. In both recent control campaigns about 1/3 of the samples analysed exceeded the current maximum limits for phthalates (especially DBP and DEHP) in plastics or showed migration into the fatty food simulant above the specific migration limits. Critical sample types were conveyor belts, hoses and gloves.
Legal limits for phthalates were exceeded in many of the samples analysed in recent tests, including a large proportion of conveyor belts and gloves. The proportion of non-compliant conveyor belts, hoses and gaskets was lower in 2013 and 2014 than in 2008-2009, whereas the proportion of non-compliant gloves increased.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Food Contamination
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Chemistry
  • Food Science
  • SC5
  • Food Contact Materials (FCM)
  • Official control
  • Phthalate
  • Migration
  • DEHP
  • DBP
  • DiNP
  • DiBP

Cite this