- Chemical engineering experts at American University of Sharjah, Dr. Fathia Mohammed and Dr. Essam Zubaidy, discovered that one meal cooked in aluminium can contain up to 400 mg of the metaThe acceptable upper limit is roughly 60 mg per person per day, however this varies depending on a person’s weight, according to the World Health Organisation.
The metal can build up in the bones and brain at large levels. Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis have been connected to the body’s absorption of aluminium.
Four publications detailing their research into foil from China, India, and Egypt were published by the duo. The most current study found that aluminium foil should only be used for packing, not cooking, and was published in May’s International Journal of Electrochemical Science.
The researchers experimented with different methods, times, and temperatures for cooking meats including mutton and chicken as well as additional substances like tomato juice, citric acids, apple vinegar, salt, vegetables, and water. They have recently concentrated on minced meat. They sought solutions to lessen the quantity of metal that dissolved into the food.
According to Dr. Mohammed, the body can withstand 1 mg of aluminium per 1 kg of bone weight before it builds up in the brain, bones, and other organs.
They discovered considerable leaching when they used environmental scanning electron microscopy to compare the foil’s quality before and after cooking.
“We tried to cover the food and also to put the food on the foil, to see the effect of contact,” Dr. Zubaidy said.
“To the unaided eye, it appears fine, but up close, a significant difference can be seen. The amount of leaching increases with increasing temperature. In addition to not being ideal for cooking, foil should not be used with citrus juice, spices, or vegetables like tomatoes.
Osteoporosis is one of the main risks associated with long-term aluminium absorption. Aluminium can be incorporated into the structure of bones because it has characteristics with calcium. Additionally, it can deposit in brain tissue, which is associated to Alzheimer’s disease.
Toxicologist and provost at UAE University Dr. Mohamed Yousef Baniyas observed that using salt, citric acid, or vinegar when cooking led to an increase in the release of aluminium.
He does not believe that the amount released will likely be dangerous for healthy people, nevertheless. It’s crucial to consider how aluminium contributes to Alzheimer’s, he said. There is still more research to be done.
The water treatment process had left traces of aluminium in the water, according to Dr. Zubaidy, and considerable levels had been discovered in foods like processed cheese and baked pastries that had been cooked on aluminium trays and used baking powder, an aluminium sulphate derivative.
Dr. Mohammed claimed that because water served as a protective layer when using aluminium for cooking, leaching was reduced. However, reheating or even cooling meals in the metal worsened leaching.
She advised adding spices, salt, vinegar, and any citrus juice at the very end of cooking to prevent significant leaching.
However, alternatives like cooking utensils made of titanium or stainless steel are pricey or not as effective heat conductors.
Even worse, several pots are even produced with recycled aluminium. However, the leaching process moves along considerably more quickly if any aluminium pots are scratched, she claimed.
The group came to the conclusion in its most recent article that “excessive consumption of food baked with aluminium foil may carry a serious health risk.”