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Study on the influence of temperature, storage time and packaging type on di-n-butylphthalate and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate release into packed meals.

Food additives & contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment (2012-11-29)
Teresa Cirillo, Evelina Fasano, Francesco Esposito, Ernesto Del Prete, Renata Amodio Cocchieri
ABSTRACT

Ready-to-eat meals packed in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and aluminium dishes, supplied to patients in two hospitals in the Campania region (Italy), were studied to evaluate the probable migration of di-n-butylphthalate (DBP) and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) from the packaging into the food. The influence of temperature, storage time and type of package on the migration process was considered, analysing the meals according to three time ranges, before the packaging (T(0)) and after 60 min (T(1)) and 120 min (T(2)) from packaging during the storage in thermostatic delivery carts. At T(0) in the meals sampled before packaging in PET dishes, mean levels of DBP and DEHP were 0.023 ± 0.002 µg/g and 0.069 ± 0.041 µg/g, respectively; the DBP level increased 230% and that of DEHP increased 208% by time T(0) versus T(2). In the meals sampled before packaging (T(0)) in aluminium dishes, the mean levels of DBP and DEHP were 0.030 ± 0.001 µg/g and 0.057 ± 0.015 µg/g, respectively. The significant increase in contaminant levels over storage times for meals packed in PET dishes demonstrates that from packages made of plastic materials the migration of phthalic acid esters into foods is possible. In meals packed in PET dishes, the highest DBP and DEHP increases were observed in the T(0) to T(1) range, which represented the time interval over which meals were kept hot, and mainly in the first ones, where the highest temperatures have been recorded.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate solution, certified reference material, 2000 μg/mL in methanol
Supelco
Dibutyl phthalate, Selectophore
Supelco
Dibutyl phthalate, certified reference material, TraceCERT®
Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, certified reference material, TraceCERT®
Sigma-Aldrich
Dibutyl phthalate, 99%
Sigma-Aldrich
Dioctyl phthalate, ≥99.5%
Supelco
Dibutyl phthalate, PESTANAL®, analytical standard
Supelco
Di-n-butyl phthalate solution, certified reference material, 5000 μg/mL in methanol
Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Selectophore
Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, PESTANAL®, analytical standard