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Food Contact Testing

Packaging testing for food contact materials needs to meet consumer expectations and regulatory requirements. We offer a range of methods applicable to materials testing and packaging analysis.

As an FDA registered and ISO certified laboratory, SGS Polymer Solutions has the capabilities to serve the food industry with testing that is compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP/cGMP). Our facilities and quality systems have been audited by the FDA and are routinely audited by representatives of our clients. 

Our expert experience with food packaging testing and packaging analysis for polymers provides unique advantages for solving complex problems through analytical methods.  Many of our standard methods, including Code of Federal Regulations CFR 177 can be applied to food contact testing, and we are always willing to work with clients to develop custom methods for more particular needs.


Below are some approaches we considers for Food Contact Testing and Packaging Analysis:

  • CFR Food Contact Testing 21 CFR 177
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC/mDSC)
  • UV-Visible Spectroscopy
  • Water Content by Karl Fischer Titration
  • Acidity, Alkalinity, pH
  • Solvent Extraction, Digestion, and Leachables
  • Specific Gravity and Density
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS
  • Head Space Gas Chromatography
  • Rheology
  • Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)
  • Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA)
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS)
  • Compression, Tensile, and Flexural Mechanical Testing
  • Brookfield Viscometry
  • Fiber Content
Food and food packaging testing from SGS PSI


Here are a few tangible ways we have helped clients with their Food Packaging Analysis and Food Testing needs:

  • A puffed cheese-flavored snack product had a bad odor when the packaging was opened after short-term storage and distribution to retail locations.  Headspace GC-MS was used to perform the odor analysis and find the composition of volatiles in the atmosphere around the product.  DSC and FT-IR were conducted on the packaging for material comparison.  The results showed that the packaging material was the same between good and bad samples.  The gas sample from the smelly product had volatile compounds that are evidence of lipid oxidation.  The atmospheric modification step was not thoroughly purging the container of air during packaging of the problematic batch.
  • A starch product used as an anti-caking additive was not performing in the same manner as previous batches that our client had purchased.  Karl Fischer Titration showed that the moisture contents of old and new samples were not significantly different.  DSC analysis showed that the “bad” batch was significantly more crystalline than samples from previous batches.  Thermal abuse from conditions during processing, storage, or shipping had led to retrogradation of the starch.  
  • The tear-away seal on a single-use container was delaminating instead of cleanly separating from the lip of the container.  A customized grip method was created for the Mechanical Test System and containers which had been sealed by different methods were opened by the instrument.  The seals which failed to open correctly were analyzed by SEM-EDS.  The bad seals failed under a lower tensile force than that required to open the good seals.  SEM-EDS showed cleavage between two film layers.  Inconsistent extrusion conditions had caused poor adhesion in regions of the sheets of material used to make the seals.

Sample Considerations

Your sample considerations will vary based upon the testing plan required to meet your needs. Contact an expert to discuss your material testing requirements.