Health Safety of Food Contact Paper Evaluated by in vitro Toxicological Methods

Kejlová, Kristina; Vavrouš, Adam; Dvořáková, Markéta; Sosnovcová, Jitka; Jírová, Dagmar

Paper and paperboard are widely used as food packaging materials intended for direct contact with foodstuffs and have to comply with a basic set of criteria concerning safety. A number of chemicals, such as slimicides, bleaching agents, and inks are used during the paper production process. Consequently, the total amounts of extractables might be high and the number of compounds considerable, including many unknowns. In the recent years, a number of short-term bioassays focused on cytotoxicity and genotoxicity have been proposed as an approach for safety assessment of the chemically complex food contact paper materials and a draft methodology for biological testing has been published as the outcome of the joint European Commission/Industry project known as Biosafepaper (1). In our screening study we have tested 141 extracts of commercially available paper and paperboard samples in the 3T3 Balb/c NRU cytotoxicity test. Selected samples with high cytotoxicity were further tested using reconstructed human tissues EpiIntestinal, EpiIntestinal FT (MatTek) and Colon epithelium (Sterlab) as models mimicking the human gastrointestinal tract. MTT viability assay was employed for evaluating the toxic effects of paper extracts in the tissues. HPLC-TOF-MS was used for analysis of the extracted compounds and for detection of their possible penetration into the culture medium underneath the tissues. Cytokine release suggesting infl ammatory reactions was determined by means of ELISA.


EpiIntestinal (SMI-100), SMI-100-FT, IL-1a, TNF-1, IL-6, IL-8, MTT tissue viability

Materials Tested

paper extracts, paperboard extracts

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