FDA gives greenlight to PE antioxidants

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two new approvals to manufacturers of additives for polymers used in food contact materials.

Both are phosphite-based antioxidants, a step that aligns with the wider industry call for new solutions in  this application.

Dover Chemical’s Doverphos LGP-11 antioxidant has been cleared for use as a thermal stabiliser in linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) at loadings up to 2,000 parts per million (ppm). The qualification applies to single and reuse articles for contact with all food types.

The Ohio-headquartered developer notes that, compared to existing phosphite additives like Tris(nonylphenyl) phosphite (TNPP), its newly qualified product offers superior colour hold, biodegradability, and lower overall migration, due to its polymeric nature.

Dover Chemical head of R&D Mick Jakupca says: ‘Dover Chemical has a long history of developing truly novel products and processes that address the concerns of our customers and consumers.

‘The fact that LGP-11 is not produced from alkylphenols provides benefits that are unprecedented by any other phosphite on the market today. Most antioxidants are composed of or contain alkylphenols. Alkylphenols – as a general class of chemicals – are a focus of both consumer and regulatory organisations. Doverphos LGP-11 was engineered to offer the global plastics market a viable, long-term, alkylphenol-free alternative chemistry.’

The second approval is an extension of an existing FDA permission for Addivant’s Weston 705 phosphite additive. The latest decision by the federal regulator means the additive can now be used at concentrations as high as 2,000ppm in HDPE – up from 1,500ppm – and can be used with high-alcohol food types for the first time.

Peter Smith, president of commercial operations at Addivant, says: ‘This is another very important milestone in the commercialisation of Weston 705 phosphite antioxidant. The FDA’s additional endorsement of Weston 705 will accelerate the replacement of the old TNPP and Tris (2,4-ditert-butylphenyl) phosphite (AO-168 type) antioxidants, both of which are today facing increasing regulatory scrutiny.

‘Today, several of the world’s largest polymer producers are switching to Weston 705, recognising the benefit of its superior polymer performance, higher processing productivity and of course its clean toxicological profile.’

This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.