How to use aluminum in the kitchen? Is it safe? It is one of the most common materials used for food storage and cooking; whether it is aluminum foil or aluminum trays, these are the rules for a correct use.
Can aluminum be dangerous to health?
Consumers often questioned the toxicity of aluminum in contact with food. Aluminum is a material present in very small parts even in the air, in water and in the soil, and it is therefore normal to swallow it unconsciously. The possible danger could arise when the doses exceed the safety threshold. World Health Organization (WHO) has set this threshold at 60 mg per day, the maximum amount that is not harmful to the organism. Scientific investigations were carried out to determine whether aluminum foil or containers and trays transmitted this metal to food, and it was established that migrations are almost nil. In confirmation of these investigations, the National Institute of Nutrition has launched a study on a sample of ten thousand families, so as to verify the extent of the aluminum ingestions, both potential and real; it has been ascertained that these values are in the safety belt, because they do not exceed 6 mg per day, very little compared to the limit of 60 mg. Aluminum may be toxic to the central nervous system; this can happen when the body is unable to expel this metal, for example in the case of severe kidney disease.
The safe rules to preserve food in aluminum
When buying aluminum containers just pay attention to the symbol of the fork and the glass that means "for food", this indicates that the trays, for example, are covered with a thin layer of insulating plastics and that, in general, the product can be used in contact with food. Among the basic rules to use this material in the kitchen without risk, there is not to use aluminum in contact with very salty or acidic foods; among the first we find capers, salted anchovies, salt cod etc., all those foods that contain a large amount of salt. Among the acidic foods we find instead lemons, oranges, grapefruit juice and vinegar; in contact with these types of food the possibility of aluminum migration increases. Do not use aluminum for a long time in contact with hot food; high temperature, in fact, corrodes aluminum favoring the migration on food. Whether you use aluminum for cooking or preservation, after it has cooled, or in any case within 24 hours, it must be placed in the fridge or in the freezer, since this will prevent the start of the migration. Also pay attention to the condensation; the water that evaporates from the food is in fact hot and it can corrode the aluminum. It is also advisable to keep aluminum away from children; do not store the foods of children in this material because the tolerance threshold of children towards aluminum toxicity is lower. Do not put aluminum in contact with the fire; high temperatures make it melt, releasing aluminum atoms into the air that can be absorbed through breathing. Avoid using aluminum in the microwave oven, even if some types allow it to be used, aluminum reflects microwaves and sends them back to the device that emits them. This could result in electric shocks which, besides being dangerous, could damage the microwave oven. Aluminum is therefore a useful and convenient material for food preservation, but in order to avoid migration, it is necessary to follow these simple rules; aluminum damages, in fact, are only visible in the long term, after over ten years. It is therefore important to be careful when using this material to avoid damage to our health.