Sustainability

James M. Brown Ltd are proud to have achieved Associate Membership of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). A copy of our membership confirmation letter is available here and we welcome you to check our progress on the RSPO website at www.rspo.org. Please click here to download a copy of our certificate of conformity to the RSPO Supply Chain Certification Systems.

 

In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainably produced palm oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders. RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry - oil palm producers, palm oil processors or traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental or nature conservation NGOs and social or developmental NGOs - to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.

 

We are very pleased to be able to offer stearates based on sustainably sourced palm oil derivatives. Please contact the sales department on

0044 (0) 1782744171 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food-contact status of JMB stearates

European Union

In the member states of the EU, use of materials in food-contact plastic applications is controlled by Directives 2007/19, 2005/79, 2002/72, 90/128, 92/39, 82/711 and 85/572 (implemented in the UK by the Plastic Materials and Articles in contact with Food Regulations 1992, as amended).

Lists of permitted monomers and other starting materials have been prepared, with limits on usage and maximum permitted extraction laid down where appropriate.

Stearic acid appears in the "Annex II" list of permitted monomers and other starting substances in Directive 2002/72 under reference number 24550. No restrictions are set on its use in terms of specific migration limits (SML), maximum permitted quantity in the finished material (QM), any specifications relating to the substance or to the polymer. This is not surprising as stearic acid is found in large quantities in the body.

The preamble to the "approved list" states that, in the case of acids, certain metallic salts including calcium, magnesium and zinc are also automatically authorised. The material must be of "good technical quality".

Please note that Directive 2005/79/EC added an extra section to the introduction to Annex I. Under this entry, salts, double salts and acid salts of authorised acids, phenols and alcohols are authorised. In the case of these salts, however, a group SML of 25 mg/kg (expressed as Zn) applies, whatever the source of the zinc. The commission has indicated that this limit is to be reduced to 5mg/kg Zn, based on an opinion from the European Food Safety Agency. However, the online database is still reporting the original limit. 

USA

In the United States, materials to be used in food-contact applications are controlled by the FDA and the following approvals covering the use of stearates in plastics, coatings and rubber appear in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations:

MAGNESIUM STEARATE (CAS Registry Number 557-01-0)

"Granted prior sanction as a stabilizer in the manufacture of food-packaging materials and listed in §181.29 (STABILIZERS)"

Listed in §175.300 covering "resinous and polymeric coatings". These are described as "Resinous and polymeric coatings may be safely used as the food-contact surface of atricles intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting, or holding food", used in accordance with the conditions prescribed in the section.

CALCIUM STEARATE (CAS Registry Number 1529-23-0)

"Granted prior sanction as a stabilizer in the manufacture of food-packaging materials and listed in §181.29 (STABILIZERS)"

"Cleared as a plasticizer employed in the preparation of rubber articles under §177.2600 (RUBBER ARTICLES INTENDED FOR REPEATED USE). Total plasticizers not to exceed 30% by weight of the rubber product."

"Cleared as an antioxidant and/or stabilizer in polymers used in the manufacture of articles or components of articles intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting, or holding food under §178.2010 (ANTIOXIDANTS AND/OR STABILIZERS FOR POLYMERS). The quantity used shall not exceed that reasonably required to accomplish the intended technical effect."

Listed in §175.300 covering "resinous and polymeric coatings" : see the entry above for further information.

ZINC STEARATE (CAS Registry Number 557-05-1)

"Cleared for use in paper and paperboard for dry food contact under §176.180 (COMPONENTS OF PAPER AND PAPERBOARD IN CONTACT WITH DRY FOOD)"

"ZINC SALTS OF FATTY ACIDS" are permitted for use as activators in §177.2600 (RUBBER ARTICLES INTENDED FOR REPEATED USE) . The total quantity of permitted activators must not exceed 5% by weight of the rubber product.

"Cleared as an antioxidant and/or stabilizer in polymers used in the manufacture of articles or components of articles intended for use in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting, or holding food under §178.2010 (ANTIOXIDANTS AND/OR STABILIZERS FOR POLYMERS). The quantity used shall not exceed that reasonably required to accomplish the intended technical effect."

Listed in §175.300 covering "resinous and polymeric coatings" : see the magnesium stearate entry above for further information.

The entries covering use in the USA have been checked in the current* 2009 edition of the relevant CFR sections. As FDA requirements are updated from time to time, it is strongly suggested that the current versions of the above sections of the Code of Federal Regulations be checked before use is commenced. The CFR can be accessed online at the US National Archives and Records Administration information system by clicking here.

* Please note that chapter 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations is updated on 1st April every year, the online versions appearing later, usually in June. The information above is current as at July 2016.

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Magnesium and Calcium Stearates

Magnesium and calcium stearate - BSE, "GM", organic solvent, irradiation, allergen and erucic acid status

Some JMB stearates are used in the production of both pharmaceutical and confectionery products and, in the light of the controversy regarding BSE and the use of genetically-modified materials, many customers have contacted us regarding the status of our products. There has also been recent interest in reducing or eliminating the levels of organic solvents present in pharmaceuticals and whether our products have been irradiated. EU legislation requiring allergen labelling has led to customers contacting us for information. Lastly, the EU has recently established legislation covering erucic acid in foodstuffs.

We hope that this position paper gives all the information required, but please feel free to contact us if you need any further help. A signed copy of this statement can be downloaded here.

BSE Status

For many years, all stearates manufactured by JMB have used stearic acid derived exclusively from plant sources - specifically, the oil palm. We neither use nor store stearic acid acid from any other source on our site.

There is, therefore, no possible risk of any potentially-infectious material being present in any of our stearates.

"GM" Status

To the best of our knowledge there has not yet been, and there are no plans for, any experimentation on modifying the genetic make-up of the oil palm. As all the other raw materials used in the manufacture of our stearates are of inorganic origin, there are no "GM" materials present in them.

Residual Solvents

The International Conference on Harmonisation of technical requirements for registration of pharmaceuticals for human use (ICH) produced its document "Impurities : guidelines for residual solvents" which divided a number of organic solvents which might be present in pharmaceuticals into three classes:

Class 1 - solvents that should be avoided
Class 2 - solvents to be limited
Class 3 - solvents with low toxic potential

We are pleased to be able to confirm that no organic solvents are used in the production of the stearic acid we use or in the stearate manufacturing process at JMB. We can therefore confirm that JMB stearates are solvent-free.

Irradiation

No JMB stearates are subject to irradiation and none of the manufacturers of the stearic acid we use for its production themselves use irradiation.

Allergens - Directives 2006/142/EC, 2003/89/EC and 2000/134/EC

Directive 2003/89/EC amends 2000/13/EC and requires, amongst other things, that food products be labelled if they contain any of the allergens listed in Annex IIIa. After 25th November 2005 it becomes unlawful to sell products which do not comply with the Directive. Directive 2006/142/EC further amends 2000/12/EC to add lupins and molluscs to the allergens which have to be declared. We can supply a copy of any of the Directives in electronic form on request.

We can confirm that no JMB stearate contains any of the allergens mentioned in the updated Annex IIIa list: these are as follows:

  • cereals containing gluten (ie wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, kamut or their hybridised strains) and products thereof
  • crustaceans and products thereof
  • eggs and products thereof
  • fish and products thereof
  • peanuts and products thereof
  • soybeans and products thereof
  • milk and products thereof (including lactose)
  • nuts ie almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecan, brazil, pistachio, macadamia, Queensland and products thereof
  • celery and products thereof
  • mustard and products thereof
  • sesame seeds and products thereof
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites at concentrations of more than 10 mg/kg or 10 mg/litre (expressed as SO2)
  • lupins (added by 2006/12/EC)
  • molluscs (added by 2006/12/EC)

Erucic Acid

Recently-published EU Regulation 696/2014 set limits for the maximum levels of erucic acid permitted in oils and fats and foods containing oils and fats. Although stearates don't fall into the category 'oils and fats', we thought it wise to investigate the matter. We have been advised by our stearic acid suppliers that erucic acd is not present in their material and there are no concerns about this substance.

Please note that this statement does not apply to Zinc Stearate.

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