Migration of components from cork stoppers to food: Challenges in determining inorganic elements in food simulants

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The inorganic elements potentially migrating from cork to a food simulant [a hydroalcoholic solution containing 12 and 20% (v/v) ethanol] have been determined by means of inductively coupled plasma (ICP) with atomic emission and mass spectrometric detection. The experimental instrumental conditions were evaluated in depth, taking into account spectroscopic and nonspectroscopic interference caused by the presence of ethanol and other components in the sample. We report concentrations ranging from 4 μg kg-1 for Cd to 28000 μg kg-1 for Al in the food simulant (concentrations given in kilograms of cork). The values found for Ba, Mn, Fe, Cu, and Zn have been compared with the guideline values stated in EU Regulation 10/2011. In all cases, cork met the general safety criteria applicable to food contact material. Finally, we have proposed water as an alternative to the hydroalcoholic solution to simplify quantification of the tested elements using ICP techniques ​
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