Elemental impurities are common in printed materials, pigments, and foil-based packaging used for food contact material. There are also cases for testing lead and cadmium in ceramics. Another impurity of concern are nanoparticles. They range between 1 and 100 nanometers (10−9 and 10−7 meters) in size, and have become part of food packaging technology due to their unique properties. Packaging containing nanoparticles can extend food’s shelf life, reduce the need for preservatives, and provide non-stick, easy-clean surfaces.

Read the blog post Nanoparticles in Food Contact Material: Essential Facts.

Robust, compliant analysis at the lowest levels is provided by ICP-MS or ICP-OES. Acid digestion is followed by ICP-MS for trace elements.

Elemental Impurities in Food Packaging Materials workflow

Automation of the lab workflow has taken a step forward with integration of intelligent auto-dilution, which eliminates manual intervention and helps increase productivity.

The Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ RQ ICP-MS delivers simplicity, productivity and robustness, combined with the flexibility for unattended 24/7 operation in routine, compliant environments.

Designed to comply with the most rigorous data audit and security measures, Qtegra ISDS software is FDA 21 CFR Part 11 ready and comes with full IQ/OQ procedures for simple implementation in GMP/GLP regulated environments.


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