The Effect of Microwave on Migration of Styrene Monomer Polystyrene Food Packaging and Compared to other Thermal Processes

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M. Sc. Graduated of the Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor of the Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.


The migration of packaging material constituents into food is a product of the interaction between the food and packaging material. This phenomenon is of importance because some migrating substances may be toxicologically carcinogenic and endanger the consumer safety. Polystyrenes are used in many food-contact applications for the packaging of aqueous-based, fatty and dry foods. The correlation of residual styrene concentrations in polystyrene with styrene migration into food-simulating solvents is of interest in order to predict the potential exposure of consumers to styrene from food-packaging applications. GC-Mass chromatography was used to determine the migration of styrene monomer into food simulant. Differential simulants (water, 10% ethanol, 3% acetic acid and olive oil) were used to evaluate the effect of heat treatments on styrene migration. It was observed that the migration of styrene is significantly higher in microwave and traditional thermal process than vacuum heating. In additions among different simulants, ethanol had significant higher migration than other simulants. Migration of styrene was increased after 30 minutes heating in all treatments. In addition, the amount of polystyrene migration into the simulants was below the standard limit set by the European Commission for secure PS food packaging.


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