The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has approved Holfeld Plastics’s new Diamat technology involving in house consecutive extrusion processes for total decontamination efficiency of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) sheets.
The decontamination process leads to the production of PET sheets with up to 50% recycled post consumer PET.
According to company, the process involves 50% recycled PET (r-PET) and 50% virgin flake being heated in a reactor resulting in flake crystallisation.
In the process, the flakes are decontaminated through two consecutive extrusion steps including multiple vacuum degassing, and food contact PET sheets are then extruded.
The sheets are scrutinised in a quality control environment for intrinsic viscosity, colour, deformities, blemishes and black specks, and the approved sheets will be formed into trays and punnets for the red meat, poultry, fish and fresh produce market sectors.
After examining the challenge tests provided, the panel determined that the extrusions are vital for the decontamination efficiency of the process.
It was also considered by the panel that the recycling process is able to reduce any predictable accidental contamination of the post-consumer contact PET to a concentration that does not cause concern for human health risk.
DrPat Wardof of Holfeld Plastics, commenting on the development, said, "With today’s accent very much on decontamination and food safety this process will allow our customers and the consumer absolute trust in Holfeld’s meat and fresh produce trays."
Image: The PET sheets are formed into trays and punnets for the red meat, poultry, fish and fresh produce market sectors; Photo: Holfeld Plastics Ltd