How to choose a safe plastic container for your food.

When choosing a PLASTIC container to pack or store food, the following must be taken into account: – Choose the best quality products to be more durable. And do not recycle the packaging that we have left of certain products, to keep our food. – That they are square in shape so that they have a greater storage capacity and that they can be stacked to take better advantage of the spaces in the pantry and refrigerator.- See that in their chemical composition they are free of Bisphenol-A (BPA), so that it is not harmful to health.

How to choose a safe plastic container for your food.
How to choose a safe plastic container for your food.

What is Bisphenol-A (BPA)?

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an essential chemical that has been widely studied. It is used in the manufacture of PLASTICS, mainly for durable epoxy resin and transparent and resistant polycarbonate plastic. In recent years, much attention has been paid to (BPA) because it is used for the manufacture of materials that are in contact with food, unfortunately approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). United States and many other industrialized countries.

Where is the (BPA) used?

It is used in protective coatings on food cans, goggles, bulletproof safety shields used by police officers, polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin and have been used for decades. The only benefits of epoxy resin and polycarbonate plastic are that they offer high resistance in consumer and industrial products, which work well in difficult environments, such as auto parts, construction materials, safety equipment and many products. They depend on high performance materials and they are made from (BPA). Although in February of 2018, the National Program of Toxicology (NTP) of EE. UU published the results of a research program, known as the Clarity Core Study, the most important and largest ever conducted on the (BPA), where the overall conclusion of the study states that “BPA produced minimal effects that they were distinguished from the background in this study “and these results are consistent with previous studies of the CLARITY program, which indicate that BPA is unlikely to cause health effects at the very low levels at which people are exposed, there are others Studies that prove otherwise. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is mainly used in epoxy resins, in certain plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and some polycarbonates (PC). These materials are found in some containers or coating the inside of cans of preserves and soft drinks.

Adverse effects of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in the body.

The molecular structure of (BPA) mimics the structure of natural estrogens. That is, it has the ability to alter the endocrine system. The (BPA) constitutes, therefore, what is called an “endocrine modifier”. Among them are:

  • Alterations of the chromosomes.
  • Changes in human behavior (hyperactivity, aggression).
  • It produces prostate and breast cancer.
  • Brain damage.
  • Impairment of immune function.
  • Decrease in antioxidant and enzymatic levels.
  • It produces diabetes and obesity.
  • Early puberty.
  • Reduction of the amount of sperm.

Migration of Bisphenol-A (BPA) to food.

Currently (BPA) is everywhere (air, water, etc.) in small quantities. Enough so that ultra-modern analytical methods (ng / L) can detect them. The problem is not the presence of BPA in certain plastics, but when these plastics are in contact with food, part of the BPA can pass to the and then be ingested by the human being, by the animals or to the environment. It is what is called migration. Migrations that may occur: 

  • To bottled water in plastic containers,
  • To water heated in water heaters made of plastic.
  • Food stored in plastic bags and / or containers, either in the refrigerator, when heated in the microwave or frozen, etc.
  • To the food from the coatings of cans and containers (PC).

Studies indicate that they could transmit up to 0.01 mg / kg (Tokunaga et al. 2008). According to the regulations currently in force, the use of (BPA) is not prohibited, and the exact limit of its toxicity is unknown. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) established in 2006 the provisional tolerable daily intake (the English acronym is TDI) at 0.05mg / kg / day, with a safety factor of 100 (that is, for a 70 kg adult, it is 3.5 mg / day). This limit was re-evaluated several times and ratified for the last time in December 2011. Also, Regulation 10/2011 establishes a specific migration limit (the English acronym is SML) of 0.6 mg / kg (where now the kg is food). Also in 2011, the EU established a ban on the marketing and import of baby bottles. Data extracted from the website of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition.

Factors that condition the migration of Bisphenol -A (BPA).

The migration of (BPA) to food depends on a multitude of factors. Among them:

  • Type of plastic
  • Contact time (longer, more migration).
  • Temperature (higher temperature, greater migration) as the exposure of tuppers or plastic containers in microwave ovens.
  • pH (the migration is greater in carbonated drinks and acidic foods such as tomato sauce or citrus juices, that is, pH less than 7
  • Degradation of the plastic (age, scratches and scratches, etc.).
  • Type of food (meat, fish, salty foods, acids, sweets, etc.).

In studies carried out it has been concluded that: The migration of (BPA) to canned foods has been detected up to the order of 0.02 mg / kg in fish, vegetables and fruits, 0.1 mg / kg in meat.

Truths and assumptions about Bisphenol – A (BPA).

It is true that:

  • 95% of human beings present (BPA) in the urine.
  • (BPA) is harmful to health and to the environment.
  • It is not known exactly what is the maximum dose of (BPA) that can be considered as having no adverse effects on health, especially in the long term.
  • PVC, epoxy resins (present in interior coatings of can and soda cans) and many polycarbonates, have (BPA).
  • The plastics reused frequently, with scratches, etc., release more (BPA).
  • The high temperatures and the acidity of the food, favor the migration of (BPA).

Supposedly:

  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene (PP) are “safe” and do not release (BPA), but there is controversy. It may be due to water contamination by (BPA). In the same way, in either case, they release another type of plasticizing substances that are also harmful to health.
  • Bisphenol S (BPS) substitute (BPA) is considered “safe”. But it is known that it is also an endocrine disruptor. However, it is used because its use is not limited as that of (BPA).
  • Some plastics labeled as “free of (BPA)” use it. This case can be applied to other types of bisphenols.
  • Commercial interests are against the limitation of BPA and the definition of a lower maximum allowable limit.
  • The health authorities control the use of (BPA) and its presence in food, but it can not be everywhere.
  • The determination of (BPA) amounts of microtraza, is not easy or cheap. It requires expensive devices to acquire and expensive to maintain.