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17 - 20 February 2021 // Nuremberg, Germany

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Exhibitors & Products BIOFACH 2020
Zoom product LOGO_Foreign bodies, packaging and microplastics

Foreign bodies, packaging and microplastics

LOGO_Foreign bodies, packaging and microplastics

Foreign bodies, packaging and microplastics

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Identification of foreign bodies in food

Foreign bodies in food are generally physical solids that are not part of the original composition and which can be visually detected. Typical examples are metal parts, bone or tooth fragments, wood or glass splinters, pieces of textile, hair, plastic particles, paint particles and insect parts. Microplastics are also among the foreign bodies, as they have already been detected in food, such sea salt, and drinking water.

Foreign bodies can be introduced into food in a variety of ways. Depending on their nature, they can represent a physical hazard. The nature of a foreign body and its origin is not always immediately apparent. In order to gain further information, to identify or exclude sources, an examination by means of laboratory analysis is helpful. The experts of the WESSLING Group offer you support in the identification of foreign bodies through sophisticated laboratory analysis and expert advice.

  • IR spectroscopic methods
  • FT-IR spectroscopy
  • ATR technology for homogeneous materials
  • X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray fluorescence analysis (RFA) or mass spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS)
  • Molecular biological examination of animal or plant fragments via a species-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or with the aid of a PCR-RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism)
  • Comparison with extensive databases to determine foreign body material and their probable origin

Microplastics in food and the environment

Food producers, distributors and retailers are increasingly faced with the challenge of testing their products for microplastics. WESSLING is one of the few laboratories that have the necessary expertise and equipment to conduct analyses for microplastics in water, sediments, in food, beverages or cosmetics.

Due to their excellent properties, plastics accompany us in our everyday life. They often end up, however, back in the environment, as tyre abrasion or as litter. In the environment, sea and rivers, plastics decompose into microplastics, into particles or plastic particles that are between one micrometre and five millimetres in size. They contaminate the environment, and the effects on the plant and animal world are largely unexplored.

Microplastics in water or in the soil are reintroduced into our food chain. In the same way, the miniscule plastic particles from products such as toothpaste or cosmetics return to the environment, for example, via sewage treatment plants. That is why WESSLING has its own department that specialises in the analysis of microplastics in our environment and food. In addition, our team of experts together with partners from industry and science is advancing the state of knowledge in various research projects and partnership such as the plastic-free seal Flustix .

Food contact materials

Materials that come into contact with food must not affect the quality of the food, neither in a chemical, physical nor sensorial manner. At the same time, the health of consumers must not be put at risk.

Producers of food contact materials have to observe extensive and different regulations and requirements. For all food contact materials, the framework regulation of the EU, the Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004, specifies basic requirements. Other European regulations and directives in addition to national legislation or recommendations serve to implement the requirements of the framework regulation. These vary greatly depending on the product - whether plastic, paper, metal or glass. WESSLING stands for the conformity of food contact materials: our experts keep these specifications in mind. Benefit from reliable laboratory analysis combined with tailor-made expert services. Our experts are approved for the examination of official crosschecks according to §43 LFGB, the German Food Ordinance.

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