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ISO Issues ISO 4531:2022 for Food Contact Enamels

SafeGuardSHardgoodsApril 29, 2022

SG 056.22

ISO has published ISO 4531:2022 for food contact vitreous and porcelain enamels. This standard can be considered as effective immediately.

In April 2022, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published ISO 4531:2022 for testing food contact enameled articles. This second edition contains several changes when compared to the 2018 edition. It:

  • Strengthens the migration limit for aluminum five-fold (see Table 1 below). This new limit is derived from Regulation (EU) 2016/1416 amending and correcting Regulation (EU) 10/2011 on food contact plastics
  • Requires the three consecutive release tests to be carried on the same day using the same sample and a fresh test solution per test
  • Stipulates test reports to include any relevant information to uncertainty of measurement and any deviations from the procedure

Highlights of the new standard for 16 heavy metals and their migration limits are summarized in Table 1.

ISO 4531:2022 ‘Vitreous and porcelain enamels – Release from enameled articles in contact with food – Methods of test and limits’, Second Edition, April 2022 

Table 1 Per Standard Text (Release Limits (µg/l))

ItemElement (Symbol)Limit
1Aluminum (Al)1,000
2Silver (Ag)80
3Arsenic (As)2
4Barium (Ba)1,200
5Cadmium (Cd)5
6Cobalt (Co)100
7Chromium (Cr)250
8Copper (Cu)4,000
9Lithium (Li)480
10Manganese (Mn)1,800
11Molybdenum (Mo)120
12Nickel (Ni)140
13Lead (Pb)10
14Antimony (Sb)40
15Vanadium (V)10
16Zinc (Zn)5,000

Table 1

In 2018, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, BFR) published Opinion No. 24/2018 for the migration of heavy metals from enameled grill grates. According to the findings, significant quantities of aluminum, antimony, arsenic and nickel were found to be released from certain enameled grill grates. In the absence of a legally binding set of migration limits for heavy metals for these food contact materials and articles, some of the released concentrations were found to exceed quantities derived from acceptable exposure levels without compromising health. The Opinion also recommended consumer exposure levels for some heavy metals from these products.

According to Opinion No.24/2018, grills manufactured with steel or cast iron are often coated with enamel materials to protect against corrosion and to facilitate cleaning. Enamel materials are known to contain a variety of silicates and oxides derived from metals, including aluminum, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, iron, lead, lithium and nickel.

SGS is committed to providing information about development in regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Through a global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Contact us for more information or visit our website.

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