Safebarrier Project

Development of a functional paper and cardboard barrier for guaranteeing food safety

Participating entities:



Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry and Competitiveness, and co-financed by the European Union.

Call for applications:


Overall objective

To develop a functional barrier that combines passive and active barriers for paper and cardboard packaging (especially recycled) capable of preventing the migration of chemical pollutants into the food.

Partial objectives

  • To develop and validate an analytical methodology for determining mineral oils at levels of μg/l. To optimise and apply the method for their extraction and analysis in cardboard packaging, foods and food simulants.
  • To characterise the behaviour of polymers used as a primary passive physical functional barrier against the migration of mineral oils. To adapt migration through these barriers to kinetic diffusion models in order to parametrise permeation velocity.
  • To select mineral oil sequestrant absorbers for incorporation into food contact materials. To establish a process for incorporating mineral oil absorbers into packaging materials via extrusion processes.
  • To characterise the behaviour of absorbent materials used as a primary active functional barrier against the migration of mineral oils.
  • To estimate the combined functional barrier structure (active and passive) capable of preventing the migration of mineral oils based on the level of paper and cardboard contamination. To develop a process for incorporating multi-barrier structures into paper and cardboard substrata.
  • To assess the technical properties of the new packaging and degree to which it meets the necessary effectiveness requirements (migration lower than 10 ppb).
  • To assess the attitude for food contact of the new developments according to Regulation 10/2011 and how application of the functional barriers improves food safety in pilot development tests.
  • To validate the new developments on the packaging line and in the conservation of quality of the food product to be contained.