On the safety of disposable plastic tableware

Update:18 Jan 2021

   Do you often use disposable plastic tableware when e […]

   Do you often use disposable plastic tableware when eating out?

For example, use plastic cups to drink tea or drinks, and use disposable plastic bowls for meals when you take out or pack them? Have you ever wondered whether there will be harmful substances in plastic when you use these for hot water and greasy meals? Migrate to food, and then eat into our stomachs? Let's do a test.

Test items:

  The country has standards for food contact plastics, that is, GB 4806.7-2016 "Plastic Materials and Products for Food Contact", which stipulates the following physical and chemical indicators:

  1 Total migration

Plastics used in contact with food may have various harmful substances (mainly plasticizers, antioxidants, stabilizers, etc.) migrate into the food. This project is to soak in various food simulants and evaporate and dry the soaking liquid. , Get the total amount of non-volatile matter migrated from the sample to the soaking solution.

  For the plastic cup, the simulant we use is 10% ethanol, the temperature is 70 degrees (simulating hot tea), soak for 2 hours.

  For plastic bowls, the simulated liquid we use is 4% acetic acid (simulating acidic food) and 95% ethanol (simulating oily food). The temperature is 70 degrees, soak for 2 hours.

  2 Potassium permanganate consumption

  The principle of potassium permanganate consumption test is to soak the tested sample in distilled water. All the easily soluble organic small molecules will be dissolved in the water to form a mixture. The mixed solution is titrated with a strong oxidizing potassium permanganate solution. The small organic molecules will be oxidized, and water will not participate in the chemical reaction. The consumption of potassium permanganate indicates the content of soluble organic substances. .

  3 Heavy metal

   Plastics in contact with food may contain heavy metals, mainly from heat stabilizers, colorants or some low-quality materials. This project detects the content of heavy metals in plastics.

Test results:

   Was surprised to find that the four very cheap samples are completely fine.

   For example, the result of a plastic cup:

   The simulated liquid of the plastic bowl is different. The results of this part are as follows:

  Total migration, potassium permanganate, heavy metals are all fully qualified.

   It seems that we were too concerned before, at least in the normal use environment, the harmful substances of plastic will not migrate into the food. The materials of these samples we purchased are all PP (polypropylene). Judging from our test results, this material is indeed relatively safe.