Food Contact

GB 9685-2016 National Food Safety Standard: Standard for the Use of Additives in Food Contact Materials and Articles

Little Pro on 2017-04-07

GB 9685-2016 National Food Safety Standard: Standard for the Use of Additives in Food Contact Materials sets out a positive list of additives that can be used to produce various food contact materials and articles including their use scope and restrictions. It replaces GB 9685-2008 and comes into force on 19 Oct 2017. New additives or new uses which are not included in GB 9685-2016 must be approved by the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) first before they can be used to produce certain types of food contact materials and articles in China.

Important Note:

NHFPC has already approved dozens of food contact additives since 2016.  Although not listed in GB 9685, these approved additives can also be used in the manufacture of food contact articles in China.

Structure of GB 9685-2016

GB 9685 includes definition, general rules and several appendixes. The appendixes are the most important parts. The use of additives in food contact materials and their articles shall simultaneously meet the requirements of Appendixes A, B and C in GB 9685. 

  • Appendix A: list of permitted additives and use conditions, grouped by the type of food contact materials (from A1 to A7);
  • Appendix B: requirements on total specific migration limit;
  • Appendix C: special limitation of metallic elements.

To be more specific, Appendix A includes 7 tables. 

  • A1: permitted additives for plastic food contact materials and articles
  • A2: permitted additives for paints and coatings for food contact use
  • A3: permitted additives for rubber food contact materials and articles
  • A4: permitted additives for printing inks for food contact use
  • A5: permitted additives for adhesives for food contact use
  • A6: permitted additives for paper and board for food contact use
  • A7: permitted additives for other materials such as silicon rubber.

For each additive, its name, CAS no., use scope, maximum use level, specific migration limit (SML) or maximum residue (QM) and other requirements are given (see example for A1 below).

GB 9685-2016

Special Provisions of GB 9685-2016

In addition to the additives which are clearly listed in the appendix of GB 9685, the following substances may also be used as additives in food contact materials and their products.

  • A mixture of listed substances provided that there is no chemical reaction between them.
  • For listed acids, alcohols or phenols, their sodium salt,  potassium salt and calcium salt (including acid salt and double salt) may also be used.
  • Substances containing crystal water provided that the substances are listed.

How to Download GB 9685-2016

If you wish to download the Chinese version of GB 9685-2016 free of charge, please click here. If you wish to purchase the English version of this standard, please contact us. In addition, you can get a list of MOH approved food contact additives (since 2016) in English. Quality of translation is guaranteed.

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