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If you're considering molding a product that will eventually or potential will be used to grow or process foods, you must be aware of the FDA regulations* with regard to food contact substances (FCS). Below is a breif description and a list of plastic materials that are food compliant.
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The FDA approved Plastics and Polymers*
Among the responsibilities of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is regulation of components of food contact materials, including packaging. Once known as indirect food additives, FDA now refers to these materials as food contact substances (FCS). In an effort to ensure the safe use of these substances, FDA has established a Food Contact Notification Program within the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition's (CFSAN) Office of Food Additive Safety.
It is the responsibility of the manufacturer of an FCS to ensure that food contact materials comply with the specifications and limitations in all applicable authorizations. When reviewing your composite formulations to determine compliance, consider each authorization to be composed of three parts: the identity of the substance, specifications including purity or physical properties and limitations on the conditions of use.
You may ask the manufacturer for a letter of guaranty to customers (Section 303(c)(2) of the act) certifying that a particular product is acceptable for the intended food-contact use.
Food Compliant Materials Table as suppled by International Plastics
Nylon (Tecamid®, Tecast®, Nycast®/Nyoil® FG, Nylatron®)
PET-P (Tecapet®, Ertalyte®)
Polycarbonate (Makralon®, Tecanat®, Lexan®)
Noryl® PPO (Tecanyl®)
PBT (Polybutylene terephthalate, Hydex® 4101/41010L)
Acetal (Tecaform®, Delrin®)
Polypropylene (Tecafin®, Proteus®)
PEEK (Polyetheretherketone, Tecapeek®)
UHMW-PE (Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, Tivar®)
Polyetherimide (Ultem® PEI, Tecapei®, Semitron®)
HDPE (High Density Polyethylene, Tecafine®)
LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene)
Polystyrene High Impact
Polysulfone (Tecason® S)
PVDF (Polyvinylidene fluoride, Tecaflon ®, Solef®, Kynar®)
*Per FDA established guidelines, base olefin resin is suitable for direct contact with edibles