The 2nd phase of the 24th ATDS involved analysing Australian foods and beverages for 30 food packaging chemicals and printing inks.
This survey work complements earlier FSANZ surveys on food packaging chemicals and included a wider range of foods and beverages.
A total of typically consumed 81 foods and beverages were sampled over two sampling periods.
The chemicals tested for included bisphenol A (BPA), epoxidised soy bean oil (ESBO), phthalates, printing inks and perfluorinated compounds.
The ATDS found that Australian consumers’ exposure to food packaging chemicals is low.
There were no detections for half the chemicals and detections at low levels (parts per million or part per billion) for the rest of the chemicals. In most cases the chemicals were only detected in a small number of the samples analysed. For example, EDAB (a printing ink chemical) was detected at low levels (up to 80 ppb) in only 4 of 335 tested samples.
Where chemicals were detected, levels were generally similar to or lower than those reported in previous Australian and international studies.
FSANZ did not identify any public health and safety concerns for 28 of the 30 chemicals, even using highly conservative dietary exposure estimates.
However the screening study identified that more work needed to be done on two phthalates [di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and diisononyl phthalate (DINP)], to determine whether there are any health and safety concerns.
FSANZ is currently planning a follow–up analytical survey to allow a better estimate of dietary exposure to these two chemicals.