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Subject: MOCA certification for food grade material


MOCA certification is specific for all manufacturers of materials and items that come into contact with food. It certifies that the entire supply chain involved in product distribution complies with the official standards required.

As far as MDM S.r.l. is concerned, printing houses should instruct an independent laboratory to evaluate any release of toxic substances from the materials in production, such as place-mats.


MOCA – materials and objects in contact with food – includes all the products:

  • Intended to be brought into contact with food;
  • Already in contact with food and specifically designed for that purpose; and
  • Expected to be brought into contact with food or to transfer their components to food under normal conditions of use.

The definition of MOCA certification includes many different products that are extensively regulated at national and European level even though there are still no harmonised rules and regulations.

In compliance with Art. 16, Reg. 1935/2004, the specific measures referred to in Art. 5 of the afore mentioned regulation shall require that the materials and articles to which they refer be accompanied by a written declaration certifying their compliance with the rules in force.
Appropriate documentation shall be available to demonstrate such compliance and it shall be made available to competent authorities on request.
It is also compulsory for MOCA certification to be used in the food processing and distribution industries. MOCA certification depends on the compliance with the current rules and regulations on industrial and commercial use as well as technological suitability for the purposes items are intended for (Art. 7, Ministerial Decree, March 21, 1973). Therefore, the company must be provided with the declaration of conformity issued by the producer, and must always be able to allow the health authority to identify the supplier or manufacturer of the item used.

Since restaurant suppliers tell that they deliver food-grade paper products, today most restaurant owners are convinced that they comply with that legislation. This is basically inaccurate for different reasons: firstly, food inks should be used for printing products; secondly, printers need "sanitization", a complex process; and last but not least, an independent laboratory has to check for printing products to prevent the release of substances during their use, especially in contact with wet materials (such as forks).

In compliance with the official rules and regulations Grafiche MDM produces several place-mats for its customers and instructs an independent laboratory to check for place-mat quality standard.