The European Commission has proposed a revised regulation on materials which come into contact with food.

Among the proposed changes is a more modern approach to the principle that packaging materials should not interact with the food they contain, the Commission said. This will allow the introduction into the EU of “active” and “intelligent” packaging that, for example, prolongs shelf life or monitors and displays information about the freshness of food.

The proposal will also set up traceability requirements so that materials coming into contact with food are identified at all stages of production and distribution. The proposal will now be examined by the European Parliament and the Council under the co-decision procedure.

“EU legislation has to keep pace with advances in food packaging technology. Active and intelligent packaging should be allowed in Europe, provided it complies with the principles of EU food safety law. This proposal also extends our “farm to fork” approach to safety so that any materials clearly intended to come into contact with food can be identified and traced,” said David Byrne, the EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner.