To examine the human exposure to a novel silver and copper nanoparticle (AgNP and CuNP)/polystyrene-polyethylene oxide block copolymer (PS-b-PEO) food packaging coating, the migration of Ag and Cu into 3% acetic acid (3% HAc) food simulant was assessed at 60 °C for 10 days. Significantly lower migration was observed for Ag (0.46 mg/kg food) compared to Cu (0.82 mg/kg food) measured by inductively coupled plasma - atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). In addition, no distinct population of AgNPs or CuNPs were observed in 3% HAc by nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The predicted human exposure to Ag and Cu was used to calculate a margin of exposure (MOE) for ionic species of Ag and Cu, which indicated the safe use of the food packaging in a hypothetical scenario (e.g. as fruit juice packaging). While migration exceeded regulatory limits, the calculated MOE suggests current migration limits may be conservative for specific nano-packaging applications.
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