"I think it's negligent!"
Hello dear resin lovers!
I have recently received so many DMs (Instagram) and also emails in which you have asked whether my resin is food safe. This topic seems to be very popular with you at the moment, so I decided without further ado to share my knowledge and my collection on the subject of "food safe" resin here with you.
For many who do not know me yet: My name is Steffi -alias MRS.COLORBERRY- and I have my own brand for RESIN & JESIN art supplies. For many years I have been working very intensively with epoxy resin, because I have brought my own resins on the market and I want to give the users / artists 100% reliable information - just as, unfortunately, some epoxy resin manufacturers do not.
Let's approach this topic in a very structured way, so that in the future when you buy resin, you will know exactly what to look for when someone tells you "YES, our Resin is food safe".
WHAT DOES FOOD SAFE ACTUALLY MEAN?
The definition of food safe refers to a material, product or substance being suitable for direct or indirect contact with food and having no harmful effects on food safety. Food-safe means that the material or product does not release or transfer harmful substances into food that could affect food quality or consumer health.
To be considered food safe, materials or products must meet certain requirements set by government regulations, agencies or specific industry standards. These requirements may relate to material composition, substance migration rates, testing and certification, and compliance with specific limits.
The exact definition of "food safe" can vary by country, legislation and industry. In general, certain regulations and standards are established to ensure the safety of materials and products that come into direct or indirect contact with food. These include, for example, Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011 in the European Union and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines in the United States.
It is important to note that the food-safe property of a material or product can be confirmed by independent testing and certification. Manufacturers or suppliers who claimed that their products are food safe should be able to provide relevant evidence or certificates to support their claims.
I, of course, did a little searching on the net for resins that are currently titled and sold as "food safe" to get a good idea of what's available. During my search, I came across several resin manufacturers (unfortunately, I am not allowed to mention the name for legal reasons, otherwise I would be liable to prosecution) who market their product as food safe. Since I now have a very broad knowledge - also thanks to a chemist with whom I work very closely ( THANKS TO YOU, dear chemist!), I knew pretty quickly which certificates I had to look for from these manufacturers. I could give you so many examples now, but I would like to focus on one example.
This manufacturer sells its resin worldwide and has a resin that is sold as FOOD SAFE RESIN. But let's take a look at what this manufacturer writes / argues why his resin is foodsafe.
You can find on amazon and on the homepage of this manufacturer the sentence that "...the system...is composed exclusively of raw materials","...which are listed in the positive list of substances approved for food contact (EU Regulation No. 10/2011 of January 14, 2011)".
IS THIS SENTENCE SUFFICIENT TO TITLE THE RESIN AS "FOODSAFE"?
So would it be enough if the ingredients of the product to be tested are on the positive list to designate it as food safe?
The fact that the ingredients of a product are on the positive list of Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011 is an important factor in assessing the food safety of a material or article. However, it is important to note that compliance with the positive list alone is not sufficient to designate a product as food safe. Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011 also includes other requirements such as specific migration limits and general food safety provisions.
So there are a few ingredients from the outset that preclude food safety testing, such as plasticizers.
Some plasticizers, such as certain phthalates (e.g. DEHP, DBP, BBP), are banned or severely restricted in toys and food contact materials due to their potential hormonal effects and infant and child health concerns.
Similarly, the substances BPA and nonylphenol are not on the positive list under Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011 for food contact materials and articles.
So what is migration testing and how does it work?
A migration test is a test method used to quantify the migration of substances from materials or articles into food.
This test simulates how potentially migratory substances can detach from the material and migrate into the food. Migration testing plays an important role in assessing the food safety of materials and compliance with regulatory requirements such as Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011.
The exact procedure of a migration test can vary depending on the specific requirements and area of application. However, in general, a migration test includes the following steps:
1. preparation of the test samples:
The resin to be tested for food safety is placed in appropriate molds or containers to simulate actual application conditions. Samples are often brought to a standardized size or thickness to ensure comparability.
2. Selection of test fluid:
The choice of test liquid depends on the type of food with which the material is to come into contact. Different test liquids are used to simulate different food types such as fatty foods, acidic foods, or alcoholic beverages. Thus, testing is not simply done with water, but with special test liquids.
3. contact between sample and test liquid:
The prepared material samples are brought into contact with the selected test liquid. The test is performed under specified conditions such as temperature and duration to evaluate the possible migration of substances.
4. analysis of the test liquid:
After the test is completed, the test liquid is analyzed to determine whether and to what extent specific substances have migrated from the resin into the test liquid.
5. evaluation of the results:
The measured migration values are compared with the applicable limits specified in regulatory requirements or industry standards. If the measured values are within the permissible limits, the material is considered to be food grade.
Migration tests should be performed by accredited laboratories to ensure reliable and meaningful results.
ATTENTION: NOW THE TEMPERATURE COMES INTO PLAY !
In my research on the internet, I also found that some epoxy manufacturers who have passed this migration test with their resin, automatically then promote their resin as "FOOD SAFE". But have you guys ever thought about the fact that Food can be so different? And by that I mean here the temperature of the food.
It is very much a difference for me if I pour a resin plate meant for muffins (cold food) or cheese, or if the plate comes into use for cutlets or pasta. Here we are talking about temperature differences of more than 50-60°C!
So I took a closer look at the migration tests of the epoxy resin manufacturers and from the tests I found that the test was only passed at special temperatures. For example, only at 40°C, or even worse at 20°C.
So now let's assume that a resin artist pours a plate of foodsafe resin because he knows that the manufacturer promises foodsafety and now serves the guests freshly fried chicken on this plate. The resin artist thinks nothing of it, but unfortunately the foodsafe certificate is only valid up to 35°C - and everyone knows that deep-fried food is much hotter than 35°C !
Do you find this as negligent as I do? Just to write "foodsafe" on the label without any further information?
Well, you would have to look at the migration rates in the test as a resin artist and also the temperature at which it is tested as "foodsafe" - but who of us laymen can immediately see through and understand a chemical test.
The exact temperatures used for the foodsafe test can vary depending on specific requirements and standards. However, there are certain standard temperatures that are often used in foodsafe testing of materials and items.
In general, common test temperatures range from 40°C to 70°C. Here are some examples of typical test temperatures:
Room temperature (approximately 20-25°C): This is the lowest test temperature and is sometimes used to simulate migration under normal storage and environmental conditions.
40°C: This is a common test temperature often used to simulate room temperature or refrigerated foods.
50°C: This temperature is often used to simulate higher temperatures during food transportation or storage.
-> btw. the most food safe resins are in this category
70°C: This temperature is often used to simulate high temperatures during cooking, heating or pasteurizing of food.
It is important to note that the test temperature selected should be based on the intended food contact use of the material or item. Foods may be exposed to different temperatures and conditions, and test temperatures should simulate actual conditions of use as closely as possible.
As you can see, this topic is not that easy to deal with and there is a lot to know about it.
My solution suggestion for all resin manufacturers who market their foodsafe epoxy resin as foodsafe would be a much better label - i.e. sufficient information on the label, which should include the following things:
1) Info FOODSAFE (if it really passed the migration tests in an external laboratory)
2) Temperature - the temperature should also be indicated, up to how many degrees it is really foodsafe
3) Name the tests: In EU one would write on the label "Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011" or "Food and Drug Administration"for USA (for example)
4) Provide certificates on the homepage
I don't want to toot my own horn here, but COLORBERRY is simply a very exemplary resin brand that puts a lot of thought into how trust and transparency can be passed on to the customer, and of course we worked with a chemist to produce a foodsafe resin and succeeded!
Here you can see our label on the resin bottles of the new BERRY RESIN and I'm sure it won't be long before some resin manufacturers are inspired by how to do it right.
Because we had exactly this case a few years ago in relation to the topic "Nonylphenol"!
In this sense, I wish you a lot of fun with casting and stay informed!
PS: for all the ones who wanna be the first getting the COLORBERRY FOODSAFE BERRY RESIN, here is the product u can pre-order for delivery date end of August 2023: