Food packaging chemicals, in particular Bisphenol A (BPA), have come under greater scrutiny lately as international bodies move to tighten their regulations in Europe by 2017. The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that more must be done to ensure that the migration limit of the chemical into food products destined for human consumption is lowered.
The WHO is concerned that exceeding the limits they have proposed could lead to higher frequencies of health issues connected to disruptions in endocrine hormone levels and production.
Move Towards BPA-Free Products?
Many consumers and food preparation professionals in the UK and Europe already look for storage products with the “BPA Free” symbol. Whether they are aware of the health issues connected with the product or not, there is instinctively a move towards avoiding this chemical. However, when researchers in Denmark tested the level of BPA in prepared food products, such as tins of peeled tomatoes, they found BPA in five out of eight products.
Likewise, an Irish study by the Food Safety Authority Ireland (FSAI) conducted a test on 147 typical food products that many families buy each week. Their results found BPA in 30 per cent of the products tested. The main culprits for BPA contamination were non-alcoholic drinks, tinned vegetables, soups and meats. With results like these, it’s hard to imagine how the WHO expects to reduce BPA in food by 2017.
Eating and Offering Fresh Foods
With this latest BPA regulation action, more and more consumers will be turning to caterers offering organic foods and products prepared from fresh fruits and vegetables. This will certainly require that more food preparation professionals make sure they buy food machinery that is adequate and appropriate to their needs. Naturally, this could be an expensive development. However, the possibility to buy used food machinery from Clarke Fussells and similar suppliers is one way to drive costs down.
A New Replacement for BPA
Many tinned and plastic container manufacturers are hoping a new and similar product can be shown to be safe for all human consumption. However, to date no such product has been found. Bisphenol S, once expected to act as a substitute, has been shown to affect hormone levels and encourage the formation of fat cells, so the search continues.