Is it safe to use aluminium foil in cooking?

Aluminium foil or cookware products are a common household product that is used for cooking. Some claim that the use of aluminium in cooking can cause aluminium to seep into the food and put your health at risk whereas, others say that it is entirely safe to use. Utensils made out of aluminium are a cheaper alternative and are easy to clean. According to researches, aluminium is one of the most common kind of metal used for cooking in developing countries.

Right from cooking a grilled fish or chicken to packing our lunch for tiffin, aluminium foil has become an essential part of our daily lives. However, keeping the food for too long in the foil can make the aluminium leach into the food and can be proved to be harmful for our health.

However, there is always a small amount of aluminium present in food. It is a natural occurring thing in most foods including fruits, vegetables, fish, grains, meats and other dairy products. Some food items such as tea leaves, mushrooms, spinach and radishes are most likely to absorb and accumulate aluminium than other foods. The aluminium content of food & medication isn’t considered to be a problem, only a tiny amount of the aluminium ingestion is actually absorbed and the rest passes in the faeces.

Aluminium being a lightweight cookware product conducts heat well and is inexpensive that makes it a popular choice for cooking. A normal human intake of aluminium is about 10 milligrams daily from the food they consume. Aluminium pots and pans sum up-to only one or two milligrams of the total. Even though aluminium has always been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, still there has been no definite proven link. The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that adults can consume more than 50 milligrams of aluminium on a daily basis and it will not cause harm to the human body.

In the process of cooking, aluminium dissolves easily from the pitted and worn pots and pans. The longer the food is cooked and stored in the aluminium, the greater amount of it gets into the food.

Anodized aluminium cookware conducts heat like the ordinary aluminium. But it has a hard, non-stick surface which makes it durable, scratch-resistant, non-sticky and easy to clean. The process of anodization reduces the leaching of aluminium from cookware into foods, particularly in acidic food items like tomato & rhubarb.

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