Glass, aluminum or plastic? Choosing the material for kitchen lunch boxes can be a challenge for the consumer, who, in addition to looking for the most comfortable option, wants their decision to be the safest. However, it is not quite clear which containers are more likely to release chemicals that end up in food. This is reflected in a new study by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), which considers that there is still a lot of work to be done to combat this misinformation.
After surveying 1,048 people between the ages of 18 and 74, the agency has found that there is a lot of confusion regarding the danger that these containers can pose. "Due to ignorance, we engage in some practices that increase the risk of transferring chemical substances from the packaging to the food, both in the prepared food that we buy packaged and in the one we keep at home," the experts warn.
The respondents recognized that they were not well informed regarding the composition and materials of the kitchenware, the correct way to store food and, above all, the risk of chemical migration from the containers. And the answers to the questions that the organization asked them prove it: 47% did not believe that there were containers that could release chemical substances, something that is perfectly possible.
However, "there are circumstances in which the risk of migration increases: for example, it is greater in fatty liquids than dry solids, and at high temperatures," explains the OCU. Which containers are suitable for heating in the microwave is another question that a large part of the interviewees were unaware of.
The people who participated in the study also had to indicate which containers they believed had a higher and lower risk of migration. The glass ones, explains the agency, are the ones that gave the most confidence, followed by the ceramic ones and the stainless steel ones. While plastic was the material that conveyed the greatest sense of risk.
On this point, the OCU agrees with consumers: "Care must be taken with plastic, as it represents a greater risk of migration at high temperatures." He also advises avoiding PVC plastic film to wrap cheese and aluminum foil to store chopped fruits and vegetables, in addition to avoiding reusing single-use containers, such as ice cream tubs or prepared food containers.
Reducing the transfer of chemical substances to food is possible by following the advice listed by the organization. They are the following: