Migration of mineral oil hydrocarbons from contaminated paperboard into the food simulants Tenax and Sorb-Star
A previous work dealt with surrogates and food simulants to evaluate mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) migration processes from paper-based food packaging. In this article, we compare this study with migration studies of real papers, contaminated with MOH. The focus was the applicability of food simulants in contact with MOH and the verification of surrogates. Tenax and Sorb-Star were chosen as food simulants, which were brought into contact with recycling paperboards. Kinetic studies were performed at 20°C, 40°C, and 60°C for up to 12 days. There were significantly lower migration rates for the more polar MOAH than for MOSH. There is nearly no migration of mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) above C25. In general, Tenax in ‘touching contact’ showed the highest values, while Tenax tested with conditions that induce gas phase transport and Sorb-Star resulted in lower but similar migration rates. Sorb-Star in touching contact to the paperboard showed higher migration rates for non-volatile compounds compared to Tenax in gas phase transfer, depending on the test temperature used. Nevertheless, under comparable conditions, MOH migrate to a similar percentual extent for each type of paperboard used. It was shown that the migration behaviour of MOH can be depicted by the use of respective surrogates, which will help to ease the analytical tasks. Migration tests with these surrogates using Tenax and Sorb-Star as food simulants at 20°C and 40°C can cover a wide range of real-life migration processes from paper-based food packaging into foods, provided that appropriate conditions are chosen.