Is Aluminium Foil Safe For Cooking?
Aluminium is one of the most common kinds of metals used for cooking in developing countries, according to researches.
Aluminium can leach into food if it is wrapped in aluminium foil for too long
- Aluminium can be easily excreted from the body
- Most people consume much more aluminium than recommended
- Acidic and spicy foods cooked in aluminium foil is harmful for health
From packing our lunch in it on a daily basis, to cooking grilled fish, vegetables or chicken, aluminium foil is as an essential part of our daily lives. However, there is something that we do not realise. Keeping the food wrapped in aluminium foil for too long can make the aluminium in foil leach into the food, and this can be harmful for our health. Aluminium is one of the most common kinds of metals used for cooking in developing countries, according to researches.
Aluminium utensils are a cheaper alternative and are also easier to clean. While there is no harm in cooking food in aluminium utensils, wrapping foods in aluminium foil can be dangerous for our health.
Effects of aluminium on our health
Aluminium can be easily excreted from the body. Hence, minimal exposure to it is not very harmful for the body. However, most people consume much more aluminium than recommended. Corn, salt, yellow cheeses, herbs, spices and tea, all have aluminium in them. In fact, aluminium sulphate is often uses as a coagulant for purifying water.
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Additionally, people suffering from Alzheimer's diseases have been diagnosed with high quantities of aluminium in their brain tissue. Some studies also suggest that aluminium can affect the growth of human brain cells along with causing harm to patients suffering from bone diseases.
Why you should avoid aluminium foil for cooking food
According to World Health Organisation, the food cooked in aluminium foil can cause migration of aluminium to food beyond the permissible limit. Incidence of aluminium leaching into acidic food is even higher. The levels are higher when spices are added to the food. Acidic food triggers the aggressive process that absorbs layers of aluminium in food.
Also read: 10 Foods That Are Not As Unhealthy As You Might Think
Glassware, an effective alternative
For preparing baked dishes, experts suggest using glassware or porcelain utensils for cooking.
Furthermore, it is considered absolutely safe to wrap cold food in foil, but only for a limited period of time. Aluminium will start leaching into the food depending on its acidic content and level of spicy ingredients.
Speaking of cooking in aluminium utensils, determining the concentration of aluminium in food is extremely important. Oxidisation of pots and other aluminium utensils provide for a layer above them, which prevents food from leaching. However, scrubbing the utensils for washing purposes can wear away this layer. To prevent this, boil water in the utensils for some time. This will create a natural oxidisation, thus preventing leaching.
Also read: 6 Simple Tricks To Remove Pesticides From Your Food
Hence, one must avoid keeping food wrapped in aluminium foil for too long. Acidic and spicy foods cooked in aluminium foil can be harmful for our health.