China Proposes New GB Standards for Certain Food Contact Materials and Articles

Vol. 864 | October 21, 2015

Recently, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China (NHFPC) released six new draft GB standards for food contact materials and articles of plastic, rubber, metal and paper, as well as food contact coatings, for public consultation. Some existing related GB standards are proposed to be repealed. Here are highlights of the draft new GB standards:

General Requirements

  1. Materials and articles shall comply with the provision in the GB standard on general safety requirements of food contact materials and articles.
  2. Materials and articles shall have smooth surfaces, and shall be free of abnormal odour.
  3. Solutions obtained from migration tests shall not display negative changes such as coloration, turbidity, precipitation, abnormal smell, etc.
  4. Additives used shall comply with the provisions in GB 9685 "Hygienic standards for uses of additives in food containers and packaging materials."

 

Plastic (including thermoplastic elastomers):

  1. Resins used shall comply with the provisions in the GB standard for food contact plastic resins and the notices issued by NHFPC.
  2. Materials and articles shall meet the test requirements in the following table:

Test Item

Limit

Overall migration

≤ 10 mg/dm2

(≤ 60 mg/kg for plastic materials and articles in contact with food for infants and children)

Consumption of potassium permanganate

(Distilled water; 60°C, 2 hours)

≤ 12 mg/kg

Migration of heavy metal (as lead)

(Distilled water; 60°C, 2 hours)

≤ 1.2 mg/kg

Discoloration test (for colorant-added products)

Negative

  1. Substances in materials and articles shall comply with the relevant specific migration limits (SML), maximum residual contents and total specific migration limits (SML(T))

 

Rubber (excluding silicone rubber and feeding teats):

  1. Materials shall comply with the related requirements of raw materials in Annex A of the draft standard.
  2. Materials and articles shall meet the test requirements in the following table:

Test item

Limit

Overall migration

≤ 10 mg/dm2

(≤ 60 mg/kg for rubber materials and articles in contact with food for infants and children)

Consumption of potassium permanganate

(Distilled water; 60°C, 0.5 hour)

≤ 40 mg/kg

Migration of heavy metal (as lead)

(4% acetic acid)

≤ 1 mg/kg

Migration of zinc (Zn)

(4% acetic acid)

≤ 20 mg/kg

Migration of N-nitrosamines

≤ 0.01 mg/kg

Migration of N-nitrosatable substances

≤ 0.1 mg/kg

 

Metal (including alloy and metal plating):

  1. Metal base material:
    1. Lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, beryllium and lithium shall not be used as the alloying materials.
    2. Arsenic: ≤ 0.01% by mass
    3. Sum of cadmium and lead: ≤ 0.01% by mass
  2. Metal plating:
    1. Cyanide, lead and cadmium compounds shall not be used as complexing agents, brighteners or other additives
    2. Arsenic ≤ 0.01% by mass
    3. Sum of cadmium, lead and mercury: ≤ 0.01% by mass
  3. Welding material:
    1. lead ≤ 0.1% by mass
    2. arsenic ≤ 0.01% by mass
  4. Specific migration of impurity elements:

Element

Limit (SML)

Arsenic (As)

≤ 0.002 mg/kg

Cadmium (Cd)

≤ 0.002 mg/kg

Lead (Pb)

≤ 0.01 mg/kg

  1. Specific migration of alloy elements (elements to be tested are based on material composition):

Element

Limit (SML)

Aluminium (Al)

≤ 10 mg/kg

Chromium (Cr)

≤ 0.25 mg/kg

Nickel (Ni)

≤ 0.14 mg/kg

Tin (Sn)

≤ 100 mg/kg

(for tin-plated thin-sheet container,

shall follow the limit in GB 2762 “Maximum levels of contaminants in foods” instead)

Antimony (Sb)

≤ 0.04 mg/kg

Zinc (Zn)

≤ 5 mg/kg

 

Paper, Paper Board, Paper Products:

  1. Materials and articles shall meet the test requirements in the following table:

Test item

Limit

Residue

(for products in direct contact with food)

Lead (Pb)

≤ 3.0 mg/kg

Arsenic (As)

≤ 1.0 mg/kg

Formaldehyde

≤ 1.0 mg/dm2

Fluorescent material

Negative

Migration

(for products in direct contact with liquid food, aqueous or oily food)

Overall migration

≤ 10 mg/dm2

Consumption of potassium permanganate

≤ 40 mg/kg

Migration of heavy metal (as lead)

≤ 1 mg/kg

Discoloration test

Negative

  1. Articles not to be sterilized or washed before use shall meet the following microbiological requirements:

Test Item

Limit

Coliform (per 50 cm2)

Not detected

Salmonella (per 50 cm2)

Not detected

Mould

≤ 50 CFU/g

 

Coatings:

  • Coating in contact with food shall meet the test requirements in the following table:

Test Item

Limit

Overall migration

≤ 10 mg/dm2

(≤ 60 mg/kg for coating in contact with food for infants and children)

Consumption of potassium permanganate

(Distilled water; boil for 0.5 hour, then placing at room temperature for 24 hours (for coated cookware and drinkware) or 60°C, 2 hours (for other coated food contact materials and articles))

≤ 10 mg/kg

Migration of heavy metal (as lead)

(4% acetic acid)

≤ 1.0 mg/kg

Migration of formaldehyde *

≤ 0.1 mg/kg

Migration of phenol *

≤ 0.1 mg/kg

Migration of chromium (VI) *

≤ 0.01 mg/kg

Migration of fluorine *

≤ 0.2 mg/kg

* Applicable if that substance is used during production

 

Labelling

  1. Label marking shall comply with the provisions in the GB standard on general safety requirements of food contact materials and articles.
  2. Plastic resin types shall be marked on labels, instructions manuals and accompanying documents according to the appendix in the GB standard for food contact plastic resins. Major polymer components shall be marked for co-polymers.
  3. If applicable, “产品含有天然乳胶” (means: This product contains natural rubber) shall be marked.
  4. Metal base material shall be clearly marked with their material types and compositions of alloys, coatings and metal plating.
  5. Metal food contact surface with metal plating or organic coating, material of plating or coating shall be marked.  Metal composition of each layer of multiple metal plating shall be marked in the order from the outer layer to the inner layer, as well as separated by a “/”, for example, “铬/镍/铜” (means: chrome/nickel/copper).
  6. Coating materials and articles shall respectively be marked with coatings and base materials.

 

For inquiries, please contact:

Rob Burton
rob.burton@intertek.com
852 2173 8655

 

 

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