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Selenium nanoparticles in food contact materials: no safety concern for consumers

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concludes that there is no safety concern from certain uses of selenium in food and food contacting materials for consumers. The carefully assessed uses are selenium nanoparticles in multilayer films, separated from the food by a polyolefin food contact layer for any type of food in any food contact conditions.

Selenium nanoparticles are commonly incorporated into the adhesive middle layer of multilayer laminates with an outside polyethylene terephthalate (PET) layer and an inner polyolefin (food contact) layer. The final materials are intended to be used for contact with all food types that are susceptible to oxidation.

In EFSA's risk assessment, the specific migration of total selenium was tested using multilayer pouches containing selenium nanoparticles at 0.002 mg/dm2 and filled with 3% acetic acid and 20%, 50% or 95% ethanol for 10 days at 60°C. In all tests, the migration of selenium was not detectable.

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