Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food Science and Human Nutrition

Committee Member

Kay Cooksey

Committee Member

Duncan Darby

Committee Member

Patricia Marcondes


Primary aromatic amines (PAAs) are toxic reaction products of polyurethane chemistry and form from unreacted isocyanate monomers and water. This issue is prevalent when considering polyurethane adhesive applications in food contact materials (FCM’s) and food contact articles (FCAs). EU standards state that a maximum migration level of the total sum of PAAs may be no more than 10 ng g-1 of food. Testing for migration and quantification of PAAs has not been standardized, but this research tests a published optimized method for migration testing and quantification of compounds utilizing strong cationic exchange solid phase extraction (SCX-SPE) and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) coupled with an orbi-trap detector running in positive ionization mode with parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) for the detection of 19 known PAAs. Configurations of laminated biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET), Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), and aluminum foil were processed at Clemson University in a controlled environment utilizing a solvent-free lamination process comparing aliphatic and aromatic isocyanate-based adhesives, and the role of aluminum foil as a barrier. Pouches were made out the laminated materials and a 3% acetic acid in water food simulant was used for migration testing. Pouches were stored at 60°C for 10 days. R2 values gathered from UHPLC were found to be in a linear range of 0.9976 to 1, the limit of detection (LOD) for the known PAAs ranged from 0.78 to 6.25 ng/ml. The compound aniline was the only PAA found in all tested pouches, with values ranging from 5.52 to 32.38 ng/ml, respectively. Values were reported in higher quantities with films including foil and aromatic-based adhesives, and lowest with aliphatic-based adhesives and no foil. It was found that all pouches had a total detected value of PAAs below 10 ng g-1, and all values of all detected PAAs after migration testing are reported. The need for recommended future work with this research is also outlined.



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