BfR Adopts New Enamel Standard for Food Contact Materials
Enamel materials are known to contain a variety of metal silicates and metal oxides, including aluminum, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, iron, lead, lithium and nickel. According to the German BfR Opinion, grills manufactured with steel or cast iron are often coated with enamel materials to protect against corrosion and to facilitate cleaning. It is noteworthy that the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF portal) has a number of notifications relating to the migration of heavy metals from food contact enamels including cadmium, cobalt, lead, lithium, manganese and nickel, and there were 5 notifications in 2018.
On July 26, 2018, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, BfR) published Opinion No. 24/2018 (the Opinion) for the migration of heavy metals from enameled grill grates, which adopted the method from draft standard DIN EN ISO 4531:2017-04 and recommended consumer exposure levels for some heavy metals from these products. On September 2018, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published ISO 4531:2018 (largely similar to the draft standard) to replace both ISO 4531-1:1998 and ISO 4531-2:1998, including following important provisions:
- Defining test conditions (temperature and time) for products intended for the following applications:
- Room temperature only
- Hot fills
- Grills and barbecues (short exposures)
- High temperature applications, including cooking
- Defining procedures for sample preparation and testing;
- Establishing limits for the migration of 16 heavy metals
Table 1. 16 heavy metals and their migration limits in ISO 4531:2018
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