All products that come into contact with food can contaminate them and possibly release harmful chemical substances. This also applies to food packaging, which is why it’s necessary to use packaging suitable for food contact.
Regulations ensure the safe consumption of food and drink and focus on evolved scientific research and legislation on the matter. Let’s see what you need to know about food contact, MOCA and food packaging conformity.
What is food contact?
Food contact is a term used in relation to materials that come into contact with food products. These are known as MOCA (Materials and Objects in Contact with Food) and include food packaging, food containers, kitchen utensils, tableware and production machines.
These products must conform to specific requirements to ensure adequate health and hygiene standards and guarantee food safety for consumers. The objective is to prevent food contamination, making sure the materials used to produce food packaging and other products that come into contact with food are safe and suitable.
The MOCA declaration of conformity is defined by laboratory analyses performed by CSI, an organization active since the ‘60s specializing in testing and certifying materials, products and systems. Materials and Objects in Contact with Food are also governed by national and European regulations, such as the Italian Ministerial Decree of March 21, 1973, and EC Regulation 1935/2004.
The materials covered by the regulations are:
- Regenerated cellulose;
- Paper and cardboard;
- Stainless steel.
MOCA conformity is also evaluated, checked and certified by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). The EFSA also helps the European Commission to define the EU regulations on food contact.
For example, the European authority scientifically assesses the tolerable daily intake thresholds for certain substances to establish safe limits on the amounts of chemical substances that can pass into the body through contact with MOCA. It also checks the safety of processes like plastic recycling.
The importance of packaging in relation to food contact
The regulations on food contact and MOCA are extensive and constantly being updated. Not only do they govern the materials suitable for food packaging but also aspects like the ingredients listed on food labels and the packaging to use for specific products like those for newborns.
The food additives used in food packaging must also comply with food contact regulations, therefore the use of chemical substances must be safe and fall within the limits established in the relevant regulations. At the same time, food packaging must ensure the adequate shelf life of products and preserve them properly for a long time without compromising their quality and organoleptic properties.
To avoid penalties, damage to reputation and wasting precious resources, it’s important to consult food packaging professionals who can offer the best solutions that comply with legal standards for food packaging. This will ensure that companies’ packaging is suitable, efficient and fully compliant with food contact rules and the MOCA certification.
Since 2003, Volmar Packaging has been offering professional food product packaging and extensive knowledge of the plastic film sector and packaging lines. With our support, companies can find the ideal food packaging solutions for any type of product, with a strong focus on the preservation, customization and conformity of food packaging according to national and European regulations and all fields of application.