Migration of bisphenol A from can coatings into beverages at the end of shelf life compared to regulated test conditions
Beverage cans are used for energy drinks, soft-drinks, sparkling waters, and beer. Bisphenol A is still part of the formulation of epoxy coatings of beverage cans. Due to concerns that bisphenol A acts as an endocrine-active substance, the migration of bisphenol A is restricted. Typically, the migration from beverage cans is tested at elevated temperatures into food simulants, like 20% ethanol in water. However, comparison tests of the migration of bisphenol A at the end of shelf life, with the migration into ethanolic food simulants, are not available in the scientific literature. The aim of the study was to determine the migration of the migration of bisphenol A into real beverages, compared to routine migration tests into the European official food simulant of 20% ethanol at 40 °C and 60 °C after storage for 10 days. As a result, bisphenol A-containing coatings show a considerably higher migration when tested at 60 °C in comparison to 40 °C. On the other hand, migration into energy drinks and coke, from the same coatings at the end of shelf life when stored at room temperature, was below the detection limit in either case. As expected, migration values of bisphenol A below the analytical detection limits were observed for any test conditions from the coating labeled bisphenol A-free. Spiking tests show that bisphenol A is stable in real beverages. Therefore, it can be concluded that the accelerated migration tests with 20% ethanol at the test conditions 10 d at 40 °C and 10 d at 60 °C significantly overestimate the real migration into beverages at the end of shelf life. This overestimation of the migration of bisphenol A is due to swelling of the epoxy can coating by the ethanolic food simulant. These findings were supported by migration modeling based on diffusion coefficients predicted for polyethylene terephthalate.