Is It Safe to Use Aluminum Foil in Cooking?
The aim of the work was to estimate the degree of aluminum leakage from aluminum foil roll during baking process of selected food/meals. The experiment included 11 different types of food (Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, mackerel Scomber scombrus, duck breasts, cheese Hermelín, tomato, paprika, Carlsbad dumplings, pork roast, pork neck, chicken breasts, and chicken thighs) baked both marinated and not marinated. The aluminum content was measured by AAS and ICP/MS methods. The highest aluminum increase was observed in the samples of marinated Salmo salar (41.86 ± 0.56 mg/kg), Scomber scombrus (49.34 ± 0.44 mg/kg), and duck breast (117.26 ± 1.37 g/kg). The research was also supported by the survey that consisted of 784 respondents with different sociodemographic characteristics. The study clearly showed the occurrence of aluminum contamination of food when it is prepared by baking in aluminum foil. It cannot be concluded that aluminum leakage will occur with each type of food. The aluminum contents found among investigated samples are not alarming, though the increase was measured up to 40 times. On the other hand, revealed aluminum contents can represent a risk for younger/smaller children and for individuals with diagnosed certain ailments.
Americans have been using non-stick aluminum foil roll for over 100 years, since it was first used to wrap Life Savers, candy bars, and gum. For many years up to today, we’ve mostly used it in our kitchens, to bake fish or roast vegetables on the barbecue, to line baking pans, and to trap steam when cooking.
And experts have expressed concern about just how much of it we’re using, with studies even warning that it could have some seriously harmful health effects. Do those warnings have any merit? For more facts about household aluminum foil, here’s why it has a shiny and a dull side.
Shielding is achieved by incorporating restaurant aluminum foil (typically 0.02–0.03 mm thick), as part of the container. For example, for a frozen meal in a multicompartment tray, it is possible to place ice cream in a totally shielded compartment of the tray—surrounded by aluminum foil—and keep it frozen while the rest of the frozen meal is heated by microwaves. It is also possible to place aluminum foil around portions of the tray to prevent overheating of the corners, sides, or edges of the food.
Meat can be wrapped tightly in professional foil to retain steam as effectively as a covered pan. Bramblett et al., (1959) compared two oven temperatures, 63 and 68°C, for heating of foil-wrapped muscles from beef round. The lower temperature produced the more tender, juicy meat. Beef roasts cooked in foil may have a steamed flavor (Blaker et al., 1959). Baity et al., (1969) reported that at a low oven temperature (93°C), beef loaves cooked more rapidly when foil was tightly sealed than when the loaves were not wrapped or loosely wrapped. At a higher temperature (232°C), cooking times increased with foil wraps. Quality attributes of the loaves were not discussed.