Normpack - How do I evaluate my material?
How the evaluation should be conducted depends on the role you have in the value chain. The description gives an overview of important steps to consider in the evaluation and describes what kind of information should be transfered along the value chain. Generally speaking, an actor in the chain must provide sufficient information as to enable the next part to be able to make its evaluation with a complete basis. Information is transferred using a Declaration of Compliance (DoC).
1. What should the material be used for?
The requirements for the material / product vary depending on how it is used. Different food types, such as acidic or fatty foods, as well as contact times and temperatures, imply different stresses on the material.
Therefore, you should find out: Food type, contact times, temperatures, disposable / multiple use, and if it is intended for toddlers.
2. What is the content of the material?
The next step is to gather as much information as possible about what the material contain. If the material consists of several layers, or the product of several parts, a compilation must be made for each layer/part.
In practice, a DoC or a material specification should be collected from each supplier. The content of the materials is checked against current legislation.
3. How do I show that the material is suitable for the intended use?
Is there any documentation that shows that the material can withstand the stresses it will be exposed to? Are there test reports or other supporting documentation?
4. Tests and calculations
In addition to the documentation, it may be necessary to do laboratory tests or calculation for the migration of substances. Time, temperature and food types affect how the tests should be performed. The tests use different types of food simulants to mimic different types of foods.
5. How should I report?
The result of the evaluation is summarized in a DoC. The Doc should clearly state what the material/product is suitable for in terms of food types and conditions of use. The content of the DoC varies for different materials but also depends on the role in the value chain.
The DoC shall be passed on to the next step in the value chain so that he or she receives sufficient information about the material in order to fulfill his/hers obligations. There is no requirement that the supporting documentation shall be passed on, such as laboratory reports and calculations. But this supporting documentation must be available to authorities if requested.