EU-Regulation 450/2009 for active and intelligent packaging with contact with foodstuffs

After its enactment on 11 February 2009 by the EU Standing Committee and its publication in the Official Journal of the EU(L135) on 30 May 2009, the new „ Regulation (EC) No. 450/2009 of the EU Commission from 29 May 2009 regarding active and intelligent materials and objects which are intended to come into contact with food “, came into force on 19 June 2009.  This new regulation expands on the existing EU Framework Regulation 1935/2004 to include the group of “active and intelligent” food contact materials. With “active” such materials and objects are understood ” that are intended to extend the shelf life of a packaged food product or to maintain or improve its condition, whereby they contain specific components which can emit or remove substances from the packaged foodstuff or its surrounding environs”. With “intelligent” contact materials, it concerns those contact materials which “can monitor the status of a packaged foodstuff” (e.g. indications regarding the interruption of the cold chain). The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, will test for components of “active and intelligent” food contact materials in the future according to this regulation via an authorisation system. In this manner, tested and authorised substances will be entered into the relevant lists, which may then exclusively come into use for the manufacture of the appropriate food contact materials. The harmlessness of the substances to be used is to be demonstrated in advance by the contractor wishing to bring it into force. Furthermore, the Regulation will regulate the provisions for manufacture of active and intelligent food contact materials, as well as the labelling of the use of active and intelligent substances on the packaging. Finally, the Regulation also contains arrangements for the declarations of conformity of active and intelligent foodstuff commodities in the style of synthetic materials. The guideline for the labelling and declaration of conformity are to be taken into account from 19 December 2009. In practice, this new regulation should be of no importance to cardboard foodstuff commodities of standard use, which contain no active or intelligent materials, as it is stated, with regards to the scope of this Regulation in No. 5 of the preliminary remarks, that: “Those substances responsible for creating the active and/or intelligent function of those materials and articles (the components) should be evaluated in accordance with this Regulation. The passive parts – such as (…) the packaging material, in which the substance is incorporated, should be covered by the specific Community of national provisions applicable to those materials and articles.”

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