The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has, upon investigation, concluded that ‘the substance silicon dioxide, silanated, does not raise a safety concern for the consumer in the currently authorised conditions of use’ and can be used in additives in all types of plastics ‘without restriction’. EFSA’s Panel of Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavouring and Processing Aids (CEF) looked at the material following a request from the European Commission (EC) for re-evaluation of the substance.
Information ‘on the basic (untreated) silicon dioxide, the surface treated silicon dioxide, silanated, and a study investigating the migration potential of the ‘silanated substance’ were all looked at by the panel. CEF determined that the provided information ‘demonstrates adequately the absence of isolated primary nanoparticles in the basic silicon dioxide and in the silanated silicon dioxide’. The panel also incorporated the substance into a polyethylene film, and found that ‘there was no detectable migration of silicon dioxide, of any particle size, from this film into appropriate food simulants’.
The request for re-evaluation came about from the EU Plastics Regulation 10/2011, which requires ‘that all materials in nanoform to be used for food contact materials…be specifically approved and specified’. The regulation came into force in May 2011.