MOCA | Material and Objects in contact with Food

Foods are exposed to an infinite number of different materials on a daily basis, and are identified by the term MOCA (Material and Objects in Contact with Food).

Any of these materials might be a source of contamination, either by micro-organisms on their surface or by undesirable substances released to the food during contact.

These concerns are handled by national and Community legislative and regulatory provisions which, in recent years, have become the reference point with which to deal compulsorily when a producer intends to place on the market a product which, in its normal use, is expected to be in contact with a food.

In Europe, according to art. 3 of Community Regulation 1935/2004, all materials intended to be in contact with food are not allowed to transfer components in such quantities as to involve:

  • Risks to human health;
  • An unacceptable change in the ingredients of the food;
  • A deterioration of the organoleptic characteristics of the food.

The other applicable European Regulation is 2023/2006/CE, which states in Article 5 the adoption of a quality management system and classic good manufacturing practices (GMP).

From the date July 31, 2017 the Legislative Decree 29/2017 - Penalty regulations on materials and objects intended to be in contact with food products and food is in force, which sets out for all companies to which the MOCA legislation is applicable, the registration at the SUAP (Sportello Unico Attività Produttive) of the Municipality of competence and compliance with the above regulations.

The purpose is to be included in a national list of companies operating in the sector. Following this registration, the ASLs started to carry out inspections at the companies.

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- FOCUS MACHINES: A series of specific standards has been formalised, designed for particular types of food processing machinery (UNI EN 453, UNI EN 1673, UNI EN 12041 etc.), and general standards on the precautions to be taken for all other types of machinery intended to come into contact with food (UNI EN 1672-2, UNI EN 14159).

- FOCUS PACKAGING: Standards have also been defined that request particular attention from the producers of packaging materials, to guarantee their hygienic safety (UNI EN 15593:2008 - Hygiene management in the production of packaging for food products).

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