Toxicity of Food Contact Paper Evaluated by Combined Biological and Chemical Methods

Kristina Kejlová, Markéta Dvořáková, Adam Vavrouša, Václav Ševčíka, Helena Kanďárová, Silvia Letašiová, Jitka Sosnovcová, Dagmar Jírová

The study was focused on assessment of potential health risks of paper-based food contact materials (FCMs) in a step-wise approach using three toxicological bioassays in vitro and chemical analyses of migrating contaminants. 3T3 NRU cytotoxicity test showed high sensitivity to detect basal toxicity of FCMs extracts and served as a firstline test for selection of samples for further testing. The reconstructed human intestine model EpiIntestinal showed more realistic tissue response than cell culture monolayer and higher resistance despite prolonged exposure to the selected 6 samples, i.e. negligible decrease of viability and intestinal penetration, nevertheless an increase of IL-8 after exposure to black printed sample extract. Yeast based assays identified weak agonistic/antagonostic activity to human androgen receptor of the black printed sample. In accordance with the biological effects, the targeted LC and GC analytical methods confirmed the presence of high amounts of phthalates, photoinitiators and PAHs that could justify the hazard of the black printed sample. Heavily printed uncoated FCMs are recognized not to be suitable for direct contact with food. The selected bioassays and chemical analyses might be useful tools to detect targeted biological effects of xenobiotics suspected to contribute to human exposure from food.


SMI-100-FT, IL-8, IL-6, TNF-a, IL-1a, paper based food contact materials, paper extracts, food, penetration, permeability, total ion current (TIC) chromatography

Materials Tested

black print extract, blue print extract, yellow print extract, paper extracts

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