Biopolymers based on polylactic acid (PLA) and starch have numerous advantages, such as coming from renewable sources or being compostable, though they can have deficiencies in mechanical properties, and for this reason, polyester resins are occasionally added to them in order to improve their properties. In this work, migration from a PLA sample and from another starch-based biopolymer to three different food simulants was studied. Attention was focused on the determination of oligomers. The analysis was first performed by ultraperformance liquid chromatography quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF-MS), which allowed the identification of the oligomers present in migration. Then, the samples were analyzed by two ambient desorption/ionization techniques directly coupled to mass spectrometry (ADI), direct analysis in real-time coupled to standardized voltage and pressure (DART-MS) and atmospheric pressure solids analysis probe (ASAP-MS). These methodologies were able to detect simultaneously the main oligomers migrants and their adducts in a very rapid and effective way. Nineteen different polyester oligomers, fourteen linear and five cyclic, composed of different combinations of adipic acid [AA], propylene glycol [PG], dipropylene glycol [DPG], 2,2-dibutyl-1,3-propanediol [DBPG], or isobutanol [i-BuOH] were detected in migration samples from PLA. In migration samples from starch-based biopolymer, fourteen oligomers from poly(butylene adipate co-terephthalate) polyester (PBAT) were identified, twelve cyclic and two linear. The results from ADI techniques showed that they are a very promising alternative tool to assess the safety and legal compliance of food packaging materials.
- Food contact material