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Aluminium in contact with food
The properties of aluminium make it an ideal material for food contact: on the one hand, it can prevent spoilage and waste by creating an absolute barrier to light, gases and moisture; on the other, it can optimise the heat exchange when both cooking or refrigerating food.
In fact, aluminium is used in a wide range of food contact applications for preparation (e.g. coffee machines, pots and pans, kitchenware) and storage and preservation purposes (e.g. beverage and food cans, containers, trays, aerosols, tubes, capsules, wrappings, lids, pouches etc.).
The main legislative reference for these applications is the EU Framework Regulation 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food. Furthermore, in line with the EU Regulation 2023/2006 on Good Manufacturing Practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food, the European aluminium industry has developed the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for the sector.
GMP – The Good Manufacturing Practice for aluminium alloy semi and end products intended to come into contact with foodstuff, in application of EU Regulation 2023/2006 on good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food: Download the GMP
In addition, specific CEN standards for aluminium have been developed and are consistently applied for the production of applications intended to come in contact with food:
• EN 601 – “Aluminium and aluminium alloys – Castings – Chemical composition of castings for use in contact with food.”
• EN 602 – “Aluminium and aluminium alloys – Wrought products – Chemical composition of semi products used for the fabrication of articles for use in contact with food.”
• EN 14287 – “Aluminium and aluminium alloys – Specific requirements on the chemical composition of products intended to be used for the manufacture of packaging and packaging components.” -
• EN 14392 – “Aluminium and aluminium alloys – Special requirements for anodized products for use in contact with food.” Also the Council of Europe, in cooperation with industry, developed in 2002 its “Guidelines on metals and alloys used as food contact materials”, currently under revision.