Asean Center for expertise in food contact materials
The establishment of Center of Expertise in Food Contact Materials, Department of Science Service, aims to strengthen the scientific infrastructure needed for food products, to promote the economic integration of ASEAN in the areas of food safety and quality standards, to meet the needs of food industries and consumer protection. The center has developed the testing potentials and becomes a leader in food contact materials regulations of the country. Recently, the center has been commissioned by the Ministry of Commerce to issue certificates to operators. The ASEAN countries have seen the importance of safety in the use of containers for food / food contact materials to ensure the safety of food products and assigned the country a leader in the collection of rules and regulations of food packaging in the region. In the meeting of Committee Considering on the Implementation of the ASEAN Prepared Food Products Working Group (PFPWG) consisting of government agencies and private on the July 1, 2553, has approved to present the country by the Department of Science Service on the establishment of an ASEAN Reference Laboratory in food contact materials at a meeting of the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standard and Quality - Prepared Food Products Working Group (ACCSQ - PFPWG). In the 11st meeting of ACCSQ - PFPWG on 15-16, July 2010, Manila, Philippines, the Board approved the proposal of Thailand by the Department of Science Service on the establishment of ASEAN Reference Laboratory on food contact materials and a leader in the collection of rules and standards relating to food contact materials in the Member States. The center also is a central laboratory to determine disputes arising out of the safety testing of food contact materials and contaminated food arising from food contact materials.
Thailand's food exports to the world market are worth over three hundred million per year. They were sent to the European Union in the amount of 126,692.27 million baht (Center for Information Technology and Communication. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, 2010) and is exported to Asian markets more than a million baht. The food industry causes more than a million people employed. Even if the manufacturers are trying to improve food safety for consumers, the safety of food alone is not sufficient to produce safe food products for export. The manufacturers also have to choose an appropriate container to ensure the safety of the food container. When the food is packed in containers, it may cause the reaction with container. The chemical composition of the food packaging may migrate into the food. Therefore, the import countries have issued regulations on packaging and food contact materials. In particular, the European Union has strictly attention on monitoring of contaminated materials from food packaging. Thus, the regulations on food safety including materials and packaging used for food contact have been revised to prevent the risk of physical, biological, and chemical properties of food packaging. This measure could affect the country's exports which are likely to grow steadily year after year. This will lead to the loss of income and affect the reputation and image of Thai food.
At present, the export enterprises in Thailand are concerned about contamination of food contact materials. The use of improper food packaging materials will result in unsafe food and the quality does not meet the requirements of trading partners. These cause to reject the products. This can be very damaging to manufacturers, workers and farmers. Therefore, the government must play a role and contribute to product quality and food safety by focusing on the quality of food or food packaging materials used.
Department of Science Service is capable of testing materials, food / food packaging for more than 30 years. The testing for the safety of food packaging is in accordance with the requirements of trading partners including the European Union, Japan, etc. Center of Expertise in Food Contact Materials also has developed the expertise to test the contaminations due to food containers to keep up with new rules and solve the problem for the manufacturers.
Being ASEAN food reference laboratory in the area of food contact materials.
- Development of the contaminants caused food supplies to keep pace with the changing of the rules and regulations of the country.
- Issuing certificates of food supplies to the exporters.
- Research to solve problems the deterioration of the food in associated with industry and government partnership.
Key Activities :
- Provide technical training on testing of food contact materials and contaminants caused by food contact materials to ASEAN member countries (AMC).
- Become resource and information centres for and certified reference materials (CMRs)/ reference materials by linking to existing platforms and networks.
- Coordinate proficiency testing or inter-laboratory comparisons in the ASEAN region.
- Establish networking between both domestic and international agencies for the purpose of exchanging technical information and enhancing collaboration.
The Center of Expertise in Food Contact Materials of ASEAN in the year 2015.