Survey of Plasticisers in Australian Foods

(March 2018)
The Survey of Plasticisers in Australian Foods investigated the levels of seven plasticisers which may be used in food packaging materials. The following plasticisers were inspected in broad range of Australian foods:
  • di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • diisononyl phthalate (DINP)
  • butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP)
  • dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP)
  • the adipate plasticiser; di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA)
  • the citrate plasticiser; acetyltributylcitrate (ATBC).
These substances have been associated with plastic, paper and cardboard food packaging as well as food grade adhesives and sealants. The survey looked at 65 different packaged foods and beverages that represent typical consumption patterns for Australian consumers.
The survey results indicate that the levels of these seven plasticisers in Australian foods are generally low.
Estimated dietary exposure for Australian consumers was below internationally recognised safe levels. No public health and safety concerns were identified for the Australian population.
This survey adds to our series of research which has consistently found migration of packaging chemicals into Australian foods is very low and presents a negligible risk for Australian consumers.
The conclusions from this survey formed part of the evidence base for the packaging proposal: P1034 - Chemical Migration from Packaging into Food.