Abstract: Packaging is an indispensable component of the food manufacturing and food supply process. This scientific workshop was convened to bring together scientists from government, academia, and industry to discuss the state of the science regarding the safety of food packaging, prompted by rapidly advancing research to improve food packaging that continues to impact packaging technology, toxicology, exposure, risk assessment, and sustainability. The opening session focused on scientific challenges in the safety assessment of food packaging materials. Experts discussed migration of contaminant residues from food packaging, presented emerging analytical methods for safety evaluation, and highlighted the use of improved exposure assessment models and new packaging technologies. The workshop then focused on recycled packaging and sustainability. Experts also discussed application of recycled materials in food packaging, recycling processes, identification of contaminant residues from recycled packaging, and challenges in safety assessment of recycled materials. The workshop concluded with panel discussions that highlighted the challenges and research gaps in food packaging. Overall, there is a need to better understand and define “contaminants in food packaging” for developing appropriate testing methods needed to establish the significance of the migration levels of these contaminants and conduct appropriate safety assessments in this rapidly evolving field.
This work was supported by the ILSI North America Food and Chemical Safety Committee.