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The new standard of bamboo and wood materials and products for food contact will be implemented soon!


Time:

2022-12-21

China's first mandatory national standard for bamboo and wood products in contact with food GB 4806.12-2022 National Food Safety Standard Bamboo and Wood Materials and Products for Food Contact Materials, which will be officially implemented on December 30, 2022.

Due to the natural characteristics of bamboo and wood, it may cause food safety risks due to the breeding of microorganisms or the use of preservatives, mildew inhibitors, bleaching agents, etc. In order to prevent such risks, China's first mandatory national standard for bamboo and wood products used in food contact (GB 4806.12-2022 National Food Safety Standard for Bamboo and Wood Materials and Products Used in Food Contact Materials) will be officially implemented on December 30, 2022.

 

Background of standard formulation of bamboo and wood materials and products

Bamboo and wood materials and products used for food contact have a long history of use in China, and are popular in people's daily life. Previously, China lacked a mandatory standard for bamboo and wood materials and products used in food contact with a wide range of coverage and strong applicability, which brought many difficulties to the improvement of enterprise product quality and industry quality supervision, leading to a blind spot in the supervision of consumer health protection. The formulation and implementation of new standards will effectively fill the gap in this field.

 

Key technical indicators and risk interpretation

Due to the natural characteristics of bamboo and wood, it may cause food safety risks due to the breeding of microorganisms or the use of preservatives, mildew inhibitors, bleaching agents, etc. This standard is formulated to effectively control such risks and is applicable to all kinds of food contact materials and products made of bamboo, wood or cork.

 

01 Raw material requirements

◆ The basic raw materials and auxiliary materials used for bamboo and wood products in contact with food involve natural bamboo, wood and cork substrates, as well as adhesives, coatings, inks, etc. Therefore, in order to control relevant risks from the source, the standard requires in principle that raw materials used for bamboo and wood products in contact with food should not be harmful to human health.

◆ Since the types of oil, wax and other additives allowed in bamboo and wood products for food contact are a dynamic adjustment process, the requirements of this standard for additives are as follows: "The use of oil, wax and other additives in bamboo and wood materials and products for food contact shall comply with the provisions of GB 9685 and relevant announcements."

 

02 Sensory requirements

◆ Due to the influence of tree species characteristics and planting conditions, it is normal for natural cork to have moth eaten. Therefore, the standard no longer requires "no moth eaten" for cork materials and products.

◆ For the sensory requirements of soaking solution, considering that bamboo and wood products generally have a unique natural color and smell, this standard requires that "the soaking solution obtained from the migration test of bamboo and wood products should not have abnormal coloring, precipitation and odor" to distinguish them from the normal color and smell of bamboo and wood materials and products in the soaking solution.

 

 

03 Physical and chemical indicators

(1) Total migration

◆ For special food for infants and young children contacting bamboo and wood materials and products, this standard requires that "the result unit shall be converted into mg/kg according to the area volume ratio in actual use, and the limit shall be ≤ 60 mg/kg".

◆ Research data show that natural bamboo and wood contain holocellulose, lignin, pentosan, soluble starch, fat, essential oil, pigment and other natural biomass components, which can be dissolved or enter the simulant, resulting in high total migration. Therefore, the total migration index is not applicable to natural bamboo and wood products without coating, adhesive and ink; For food contact materials and products using adhesives and inks, if the total migration of food simulants selected according to the standard exceeds the limit, the chloroform extract shall be determined according to GB 31604.8, and the results shall be determined according to the measured chloroform extract.

(2) Formaldehyde migration

In order to improve the anti-corrosion, water resistance, heat resistance and other properties of bamboo and wood products, some manufacturers will choose to use formaldehyde or phenolic resin containing formaldehyde, melamine formaldehyde resin, urea formaldehyde, phenol formaldehyde, melamine formaldehyde resin type adhesives, or phenolic varnish resin coating containing formaldehyde in the processing process. During the production or use of bamboo and wood products, the above formaldehyde containing substances may migrate out of formaldehyde and pollute food. Therefore, this standard requires that formaldehyde migration of bamboo and wood products be ≤ 15 mg/kg.

(3) Sulfur dioxide migration

During the production and processing of bamboo and wood products used for food contact, chemicals such as sulfur or sodium pyrosulfite are used to prevent corrosion and bleach the products, which may lead to excessive migration of sulfur dioxide and food safety problems. Therefore, this standard defines the sulfur dioxide migration limit, which is required to be ≤ 10 mg/kg, so as to effectively control the sulfur dioxide migration risk brought by the bamboo and wood products processing process.

(4) Migration of pentachlorophenol

Pentachlorophenol can prevent the growth of fungi and inhibit the corrosion of bacteria on bamboo and wood fibers. Therefore, it was once used as a fungicide to carry out bacteriostatic treatment on bamboo and wood products. Although pentachlorophenol is no longer used as an anti mildew agent in the industry, as pentachlorophenol is a persistent organic pollutant, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) clearly listed pentachlorophenol as a class I carcinogen on October 27, 2017. Therefore, this standard specifies the migration amount of pentachlorophenol as 0.15 by reference to foreign practices μ g/kg。

(5) Residue index

Since bamboo and wood raw materials contain organic nutrients, which are easy to become moldy and deteriorated, in order to prevent products from becoming moldy, manufacturers generally use pesticides to kill insects and mold on bamboo and wood raw materials and semi-finished products. Common pesticides mainly include thiabendazole, o-phenylphenol, imazole, biphenyl, etc. During the use of the product, residual pesticides may migrate to food, thus affecting food safety and harming consumers' health. Compared with GB/T 19790.2-2005 Disposable Chopsticks - Part 2: Bamboo Chopsticks, the limit values of four pesticides are ≤ 10 mg/kg. This standard reassesses the above four pesticides, and their residue indicators are no longer the same, that is, Thiabendazole ≤ 1.2 mg/kg, o-phenylphenol ≤ 4.8 mg/kg, Imidazole ≤ 0.4 mg/kg, Biphenyl ≤ 0.6 mg/kg.

 

04 Microorganism
As the production, processing technology and actual use of bamboo and wood products have a certain impact on microbial propagation, this standard refers to the relevant provisions of GB 14934 Food Safety Standard for Disinfection of Meals (Drinks) on microbial indicators, requiring coliform bacteria (/50 cm ²) And Salmonella (/50 cm ²) None of them can be detected. The limit index requirements of mold are deleted, and the mildew phenomenon is directly controlled through sensory requirements.

 

Implementation significance of new standards

The introduction of the GB 4806.12-2022 standard will provide strong guidance for the production and processing enterprises that contact bamboo, wood and paper products with food to control product risks, provide law enforcement basis for government regulatory authorities, and play an important role in protecting consumer health, standardizing enterprise behavior, and maintaining good market order.

 

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