Home > How to deal with the problem of PVC seals on vacuum closures and plasticiser migration

How to deal with the problem of PVC seals on vacuum closures and plasticiser migration


Companies, especially in the food processing sector that continue to use PVC seals for metal vacuum closures are often confronted with an acute plasticiser problem.

The PVC seals of metal vacuum closures contain about 20 - 40 per cent plasticiser. Products containing a high proportion of oil are particularly affected by the transfer of plasticiser into the food, since plasticisers are soluble in oil. This puts products such as sauces, fish products in oil, pickled vegetables or cheese in oil particularly at risk.

The EU has long set up and developed an extensive set of rules but the numerous amendment guidelines, positive lists for additives and monomers, specified limit values for individual substances as well as the requisite extensive declarations of conformity represent a major challenge for compliance.

A study across Europe presented by the Cantonal Laboratory of Zürich and the Stuttgart Chemical and Veterinary Research Office found that a majority of the products exceeded the migration limit of 10 mg/dm² according to EU Regulation 10/2011. Thirty per cent of glass jars with fat-containing contents exceeded this limit; while the excess was significant in about 21 per cent of the samples. Only ten per cent of the products examined were under the limit. ESPO was found in 40 cases while 23 cases showed DEHT in excess of the limit. Even forbidden plasticisers were found in some of the examined products.

However, a reliable solution has been available for this problem since 2011 - the innovative Provalin sealant material. PVC-free solutions make sense considering that the maximum limit has to be adhered to for global migration in addition to exactly defined specific migration limits referring to individual plasticisers listed in the regulation (EU) 10/2011 (PIM), e.g. ESBO, PAD, AMG, ATBC, DBS, DINCH, DOTP, Phthalate and DEHA.

If, for example, some of these plasticisers contain a PVC material, the objective is not only to adhere to the respective limit value for the specific migration of individual plasticisers but also to observe the limit value for the sum of all specific migrations.

With Provalin, it is possible to avoid such results.

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