Series: If the packaging makes the food is maggoty

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Series: If the packaging makes the food is maggoty

Food in cans, Tetra Paks, plastic, cellulose film, and cartons are filling the shelves Packed in our super markets. The long durability of these products enables us to have a good stock. Little known is that some of the packaging, unwanted substances can pass into the food.


Packaged foods are an indispensable part of our daily life. They provide in our environment, which is characterised by shortage of time and hectic lifestyle, many benefits. They are well suited for storage, are on the shelves ready to hand, to provide desired serving sizes and are easy to transport. There are new packages that are very user friendly and the Handling of the products easier. Accordingly, the use of new technologies and raw materials is needed. Unfortunately, some of these raw materials are still completely unknown what effect these have on our health. Most of the time we take unwanted substances from the packaging into the food, only in very small amounts that are usually harmless to health. Nevertheless, some of the handle should not remain in the food shelf without thinking.

In plastic wrapped

Whether sausage or cheese, sweets, bread or fruit, we can almost get all the food in foil or plastic-wrapped. In the food sector, a variety of art will be used. These include polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and rigid PVC. In the Form of foils, blisters, and other forms of packaging our food is wrapped with plastics. Again and again there are reports of substances from the plastics in which can pass food. Part of it is the undesirable toxic substances.

Vinyl chloride

Vinyl chloride is the starting material for the manufacture of PVC (polyvinyl chloride),the coating as a protective coating for food packaging as well as foils, and laminated films is used. Vinyl chloride is suspected to have a weak mutagenic, cancer-promoting effect. Secure findings on a cancer-inducing potency be a sign missing at the moment. Nevertheless, for precautionary reasons for this substance, the Transition to food may not be detectable.

Phthalic Acid Esters (Phthalates)

Phthalates are used as plasticizers for PVC, polystyrene and other plastics. You will be added to the materials to optimize the ductility and workability. The most common representatives among the phthalates, DEHP (Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate). Phthalates can be released out of the packaging, but also in part already during the production via conveyor belts and hoses in the food. Is funded this process by a high content of fat in the food. Phthalates are not toxicologically investigated yet in a comprehensive and rating. Most likely you are attacking a weak estrogenic effect in the hormonal balance of the people, and thus to the development of the sexual organs.

Epoxidized soybean oil (ESBO)

ESBO is used as a plasticizer and Stabilizer for PVC, in particular, in the cover sealing materials and formed films. In the lids of canned and glass food can account for up to 40% of the density mass. Decisive for a Transition of ESBO in food, direct contact with the food as well as their fat content is. Large amounts of ESBO can pass in a strongly oil-containing food, such as Pesto, olive paste and pickled vegetables in Oil.

At the beginning of 2005 ESBO has been demonstrated in numerous in screw cap glass jars-packaged foods, including baby food,. So far, there are no sufficient data to assess the health significance of ESBO for the people. The acceptable daily intake was set at 1 mg/kg of body weight.

Be it vegetables, fruits or fish, the good old tin can has its fixed place in the food shelf. For a long time known, that of tinned tinplate canned food in case of access of air Tin in the tin content can be transferred. Tin is a heavy metal which is relatively non-toxic. The intake of larger quantities can lead to diarrhea and vomiting. Food from tin-plated steel cans should be processed therefore quickly, and the remains will be transferred to a different container.

A good message on this topic is that the risk is high concentrations of Tin to be incorporated into the rule, very low, as German manufacturers mainly use cans with an inner coating or paint. The bad news on this topic since the beginning of 1996, known under the name of BADGE (Bisphenol-A-diglycidyl ether). BADGE is a plasticizer that can be discharged from the interior coatings of the cans to the medium. In the case of studies in Switzerland and in Germany, for example, high levels were found in the Ölaufguss of canned fish. High values were also found in canned food with a pull tab lid. Presumably, the plasticizer is used to achieve optimum flexibility of the paint. Originally adopted in cancer risk or health hazard has not been confirmed. Nevertheless, a limit value of 1 mg/kg of food required at construction joints regardless was by the European Commission

Food in cardboard boxes

Pizza and hamburgers are Fast Food available at every street corner. The cardboard box, there are, of course, so that the food arrives intact at home. Thus, cartons and papers to the use of non-softening, they are coated frequently with a PERFLUORO chemicals, as these are fat – and water-repellent. In studies, it was found that the PERFLUORO can contain chemicals as an impurity FTOH (fluorotelomer alcohols). These are suspected to the food to move and to move about in the human body, where the substance can accumulate due to the slow rate of degradation. The health risk for the consumer is so far little known. On the basis of results from animal experiments, the substance is classified as critical.

How can we protect ourselves?

For the protection of the consumer are determined by the Federal Institute for risk assessment (BfR) for the hazardous to health substances maximum amounts and limits. In addition, research in the field of food safety is operated to develop, among other things, with the aim of providing new technologies for the production of food and packaging, which ensure the same efficiency for a high degree of safety for the consumer. Especially in the case of critical products, such as fatty foods, and baby food in jars with screw cap, have responded, many manufacturers already do without these harmful substances. But it is also critical in consumer buying behavior.

  • For many pre-packaged food Alternatives are available.
  • Why not more on the so-called “loose goods”?
  • In the bakery, the deli and cheese counter, the fruit and vegetables stand, there is plenty to buy unpackaged goods.
  • Prepare, whenever possible, to eat fresh and avoid packaged ready food.