ASTM F1640 - 09

    Standard Guide for Packaging Materials for Foods to Be Irradiated

    Active Standard ASTM F1640 | Developed by Subcommittee: E61.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 12.02


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    Significance and Use

    The judicious selection of a packaging material is part of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for the irradiation of prepackaged foods. This guide recognizes the need to evaluate the impact of packaging materials on the safety and quality of foods irradiated to control the proliferation of food borne pathogens, as well as their impact on foods irradiated for other purposes, such as prevention of re-infestation, delay of ripening, or shelf life extension.

    As part of the evaluation, the selection process should consider the effects of irradiation on the chemical and physical properties of the packaging material.

    Packaging is not considered to be a food preservation technique for overcoming any deficiencies attributable to inadequate GMPs during preparation, storage, or treatment of foods to be irradiated. The quality of the irradiated food will depend heavily on its initial quality, control of the irradiation process, storage temperature and handling of the food after irradiation.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide provides a format to assist producers and users of food packaging materials in selecting materials that have the desirable characteristics for their intended use and comply with applicable standards or government authorizations. It outlines parameters that should be considered when selecting food-contact packaging materials intended for use during irradiation of prepackaged foods and it examines the criteria for fitness for their use.

    1.2 This guide identifies known regulations and regulatory frameworks worldwide pertaining to packaging materials for holding foods during irradiation; but it does not address all regulatory issues associated with the selection and use of packaging materials for foods to be irradiated. It is the responsibility of the user of this guide to determine the pertinent regulatory issues in each country where foods are to be irradiated and where irradiated foods are distributed.

    1.3 This guide does not address all of the food safety issues associated with the synergistic effects of irradiation and packaging as food preservation techniques on the extension of shelf life or food quality. It is the responsibility of the user of this guide to determine the critical food safety issues and to conduct appropriate product assessment tests to determine the compatibility between the packaging application and irradiation relative to changes in sensory attributes and shelf life.

    1.4 This guide does not address the use of irradiation as a processing aid for the production or sterilization of food packaging materials.

    1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E170 Terminology Relating to Radiation Measurements and Dosimetry

    E460 Practice for Determining Effect of Packaging on Food and Beverage Products During Storage

    E462 Test Method for Odor and Taste Transfer From Packaging Film

    F1355 Guide for Irradiation of Fresh Agricultural Produce as a Phytosanitary Treatment

    F1356 Practice for Irradiation of Fresh and Frozen Red Meat and Poultry to Control Pathogens and Other Microorganisms

    F1736 Guide for Irradiation of Finfish and Aquatic Invertebrates Used as Food to Control Pathogens and Spoilage Microorganisms

    F1885 Guide for Irradiation of Dried Spices, Herbs, and Vegetable Seasonings to Control Pathogens and Other Microorganisms


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 55.040 (Packaging materials and accessories); 67.250 (Materials and articles in contact with foodstuff and water)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 26142000(Irradiation equipment); 50190000(Prepared and preserved foods)


    DOI: 10.1520/F1640-09

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