• Food simulant;
  • LC-MS/MS;
  • Migration;
  • Phthalic acid ester

An RP LC-ESI-MS/MS method for the determination of the migration of 16 primary phthalic acid esters from plastic samples has been developed using distilled water, 3% acetic acid, 10% alcohol, and olive oil as food simulants. Detection limits were 1.6–18.5 μg/kg in distilled water, 1.4–17.3 μg/kg in 3% acetic acid, 1.4–19.2 μg/kg in 10% alcohol, and 31.9–390.8 μg/kg in olive oil. The RSDs were in the range of 0.07–11.28%. The real plastic products inspection showed that only few analyzed samples were phthalates contaminated. Bis-2-ethylhexyl ester and dibutyl phthalate were the common items migrated from the plastic products into food and feeds, but the migration concentrations were far below the limits set by European Union (1.5 mg/kg for bis-2-ethylhexyl ester and 0.3 mg/kg for dibutyl phthalate).