FDA RELAXES METAL CARBIDE RULES AFTER ANALYSIS FINDS NO SAFETY RISKS

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Regulations on the use of metal carbide in ceramic coatings of food processing equipment have been relaxed in the United States.

The country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Threshold of Regulation (TOR) exemption for metal carbides and metal carbide alloys after analysis concluded their use would not endanger consumers.

In a statement, the FDA said the exemption applied to use of the substances as a component or ceramic coating in what it called “repeat-use applications”, such as food processing equipment.

The organisation said it issues TORs when the food contact substance (FCS) is not known to be a carcinogen and when even if it were used dietary exposure would remain below 0.5 parts per billion.

Before issuing the TOR, the FDA said it carried out a review into the use of the substances in food processing equipment.

“Based on FDA’s reviews, the agency concluded that metal carbides remain stable and intact, chemically inert, and resistant to corrosion and abrasion under their intended conditions of use,” the statement said.

“There is little or no likelihood that components of metal carbides would migrate to food at other than insignificant amounts, nor would the metal carbides otherwise affect food.”

As a result of this, the FDA said it had “no concerns” about their use in food processing equipment.

“In addition, the FDA is not aware of any study showing these food contact substances to be carcinogenic in humans or in animals,” the statement added.

Because the FDA has issued a TOR, metal carbides and metal carbide alloys can be used without companies having to submit a request for permission known.

This, the FDA said, would cut the number of “duplicative submissions” it received and allow it to focus on more pressing issues.

Sial Paris Newsroom recently reported that efforts to prevent contamination in food processing plants have been strengthened by research that identified ways to identify a chemical called adenosine triphosphate.

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