Materials that come into contact with food are subject to European legislation.
In good manufacturing practice and under normal conditions, they must not release constituents into the food in quantities which
- endanger human health
- lead to an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or
- cause a deterioration in the organoleptic properties of the food, such as taste or odor.
As a manufacturer of food contact materials, you are responsible for compliance with the legal requirements. You must ensure that the contact materials are safe for human health.
What are active and intelligent food contact substances?
Active materials absorb or release substances to improve the quality of packaged food or extend its shelf life.
Smart materials monitor the condition of packaged food or the environment surrounding it. For example, they provide information about the freshness of the food.
Applications for approval of active and intelligent substances in food contact can only be submitted via the European Commission's online portal E-Submission Food Chain Platform (ESFC).
The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) is the national point of contact in Germany. If you select the BVL as your point of contact, the BVL formally checks the application for completeness and relevance of the documents. The BVL then forwards it to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
EFSA reviews and evaluates your application based on scientific evidence. The European Commission decides on the actual approval. Even in the event of non-approval, the European Commission will inform you and give reasons for its decision.
If the active and intelligent materials or articles meet the legal and scientific requirements, they will be added to the corresponding EU list of permitted substances. They may then be used as food contact materials.
If you have new scientific or technical knowledge that may affect the evaluation of the safety of the substance in relation to human health, you must immediately inform the EU Commission.