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The contents of selected heavy metals in the food package’s ink and packages cellulose materials

Zdzisław Polański ,  Agnieszka Ozimek ,  Karolina Jakubowska ,  Jacek Chapiński 

Arso-Polański Sp. z o.o., ul. Sportowa 1/5, Baniocha 05-532, Poland


Inks for printing on cellulose packaging intended to come into contact with food must meet many requirements. In accordance with the EU regulation food packaging must be manufactured from materials with appropriately chemical composition, meeting safety requirements. Inapplicable materials, including paints used for graphic printing on packaging, can be a source of contamination of food compounds harmful to health. Inappropriate materials may cause the chemical composite on and organoleptic characteristic of the packaged products (1,4).

One of the most popular components of printing ink is black carbon. Black carbon is the most common plant, harvested by the combustion of different substances depending on the manufacturing technology, destination and manufacturer (3). Soot forming dye can be of different sizes, some of them may be in nano size “natural nano-molecule”.

The aim of this work was to determine the content of selected heavy metals (Pb, Cd and Cr) in food packaging and packaging inks, acquired on the local market.

Testing materials were cellulose packaging (primary and waste paper package) and inks (SunChemical) intended for the food packaging production (used to manufacture by the Arso-Polański sp. z o.o.).

After mineralization all the trials were analysed. Determinations were performed using atomic absorption spectrometer with electro-termic atomization Savant AA (double beam spectrometer with deuterium background correction) produced by GBC.

The average lead content in cellulose packaging was - 0,75 ppm, chromium – 1,5 ppm and cadmium <LOQ. Similarly average content in waste paper package was for Pb – 9 ppm, for Cd – 5,02 ppm and Cd < LOQ.

Minor content of individual metals in packaging are consistent with the results obtained for the inks. The largest average heavy metal content determined for cadmium 56,54 ppm in the paint red (Magneta), lowest also for cadmium <LOQ in black paint (Arso -Polański).

The result showed that the quality of the inks used in the Arso-Polański Sp. z o.o. enables the production of high-quality packing, in accordance with the requirements for food packing contained in Directive 94/62/EC. Directive indicate total amount of lead, cadmium, mercury and Chromium (VI) in the package or item should not exceed 100 ppm. In this case there were no exceeded of the limits according to Directive standard. Due to the fluctuations associated with the production of pigments (3) it is necessary to continue to monitor the content of the above metals, in order to produce high-quality packing.

1. Ćwiek-Ludwicka, K. Printed packaging to the food-health risks and food safety, Paper Industry Review 2011,  67  (2) 67-69;

2. European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC;

3. EuPIA121016P/press release-EN;

4. Stelmach, A.  Ćwiek-Ludwicka, K., Graphic paint for food packaging-recommendations concerning the application,  Food Industry, 2001 55,  (7) 26-27;


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Presentation: Poster at Nano and Advanced Materials Workshop and Fair, by Zdzisław Polański
See On-line Journal of Nano and Advanced Materials Workshop and Fair

Submitted: 2013-09-11 14:03
Revised:   2013-09-12 08:04