Ambient mass spectrometry as a tool for a rapid and simultaneous determination of migrants coming from a bamboo-based biopolymer packaging

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New bamboo-based biopolymers are used as food packaging materials, but it must be evaluated to ensure consumers safety. In this study, migration from a commercial bamboo-based biopolymer to ethanol 10% (v/v), acetic acid 3% (w/v) and ethanol 95% (v/v) was studied. The migrants were determined from three different perspectives. Volatile and semi-volatile compounds were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Twenty-five compounds were detected. In addition, a number of phytosterols were detected in ethanol 95%. Non-volatile compounds were identified and quantified by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q/ToF).

Twelve non-volatile compounds were detected in migration solutions, mainly melamine and its derivatives, coming from polymer resins present in the biopolymer. Melamine migration was higher than 50 mg/Kg in the third sequential migration test. Finally, the migration samples were analyzed by DART-SVP (direct analysis in real time coupled to standardized voltage and pressure). This methodology was able to detect simultaneously the main volatile and non-volatile migrants and their adducts in a very rapid and effective way and is shown as a promising tool to test the safety and legal compliance of food packaging materials.


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