What Food Packaging Contains PFAS?

What Food Packaging Contains PFAS?

Have you ever heard about PFAS, the hidden danger substance used popularly in life? This substance presents in various items including food packaging. Let’s define what food packaging contains PFAS in today’s blog.

What is PFAS? Why It Is Danger to Human Health?

Why PFAS exists in Food Packaging?

Known as "forever chemicals, Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals.

Because they are excellent grease and water repellents, PFAS are widely used in food packaging.

  • Grease resistance: PFAS are very good in repelling grease and oil, which helps to prevent food from leaking out of packing and causing a mess. This is particularly crucial for oily meals like pizza, burgers, and fries.
  • Water resistance: PFAS may also aid in keeping food from collecting moisture, hence extending food's shelf life. This is particularly critical for consumable goods like fruits and vegetables.
  • Non-stick properties: PFAS can make food packaging nonstick, making it simpler to clean and preventing food from clinging to it. This is crucial for items like frozen meals that are cooked inside of their container.

Besides, PFAS have some economical advantage, including:

  • Effective: PFAS are particularly excellent at repelling grease and water. Because it helps keep food from becoming contaminated, this makes them perfect for use in food packing.
  • Durable: PFAS are very permanent and can survive high temperatures and hard environments. Because it helps to ensure that the packaging can preserve the food throughout transportation and storage, this makes them perfect for use in food packing.
  • Affordable: PFAS are relatively inexpensive to produce, which makes them a cost-effective option for food manufacturers.

Due to its benefits, PFAS are widely used in food packaging.

Type of Food Packaging Products Usually Have PFAS

Because PFAS repels grease and water, they are great for keeping food safe and fresh. They are used as well in grease-proof and water-resistant packaging. Here are a few particular examples:

  • Grease-proof paper: This sort of paper is commonly used to line pizza boxes, take-out containers, and burger wrappers.
  • Microwave popcorn bags: To keep the bags from sticking to the popcorn kernels and from leaking grease, the inside of the bags is usually coated with PFAS.
  • Candy wrappers: PFAS coating is applied to some candy wrappers, especially those for greasy or sticky candies, to make them water-resistant and stop the candy from clinging to the wrapper.
  • Fast food containers: Some fast food containers, such as those used for burgers, fries, and other greasy or oily foods, are lined with PFAS to keep the food from becoming polluted and the containers from leaking.
  • Nonstick cooking paper: Nonstick cooking paper, which is commonly used to line baking trays and grilling surfaces, may contain PFAS to keep food from sticking and make cleanup easier.
  • Pizza boxes: To keep the pizza fresh and stop grease from seeping through, the interior lining of pizza boxes may contain PFAS.
  • Frozen food packaging: Some frozen food packaging, such as bags and boxes, may include PFAS to avoid freezer burn and keep the food fresh.
  • Take-out containers: To stop oil and water from seeping through, take-out containers composed of paper, plastic, or foam may use PFAS.
  • Paper plates and cups: PFAS may be present in paper plates and cups meant for food and hot or cold beverages in order to increase their durability and stop liquids from seeping through.

Types of Food Packaging Don’t Contain PFAS

There are several food packaging options available that are free of PFAS, an artificial chemical class that has been connected to certain health hazards. These substitutes provide food packaging options that are more environmentally friendly and safe.

  • Paper containers: Made from several layers of paper, paperboard is a strong, sturdy material. Cereal boxes, yogurt containers, and other food packaging frequently employ it. While some paperboard containers may contain PFAS, many businesses choose PFAS-free alternatives.
  • Glass containers: Neither food nor chemicals react with glass because it is a non-reactive material. Numerous items, including greasy foods, acidic foods, and hot beverages, can be safely stored in it.
  • Stainless steel containers: Stainless steel is another inert material that does not leach chemicals into food. It's an adaptable option for food storage and transit because it's strong, lightweight, and simple to clean.
  • Silicone containers: Silicone is a food-grade material that is simultaneously heat-resistant and BPA-free. It can be used for baking, freezing or refrigerating food, and warming up leftovers in the oven or microwave.
  • Reusable cloth wraps: These wraps have a small layer of food-grade wax on them and are made of natural materials like cotton or beeswax. They may be used to wrap sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables and are a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative for plastic wraps.
  • Wooden containers: As long as they are kept clean and maintained, wooden cutting boards, bowls, and plates are usually safe to use with food

Tips to Avoid PFAS

Here are some practical tips to avoid using packaging using PFAS:

  • Look for the "grease-proof" label: Packaging that bears the labels "water-resistant" or "grease-proof" is more likely to contain PFAS. These substances are frequently utilized to provide a barrier that stops water or grease from entering the package.
  • Check the packaging type: PFAS are frequently found in grease-proof paper, microwave popcorn bags, candy wrappers, and fast food containers, among other common packaging types.
  • Choose food containers that are covered in PLA or are water-based as an alternative to PFAS. These materials are strong and waterproof yet do not harm human health.
  • Select fresh or frozen foods: These options are safer because they usually don't come into contact with packaging that contains PFAS.
  • Examine brand transparency: Some companies are dedicated to utilizing PFAS-free packaging and may make this information readily available on their websites or package labels.
  • Contact the manufacturer: If you are concerned about the use of PFAS in a specific product, you can contact the manufacturer directly.

To put it briefly, PFAS is present in a wide range of food packaging materials. Restaurants and distributors have to choose carefully and take into account proper packaging in order for the health of their customers.

We at Kimecopak offer food containers that are safe for both consumers' health and the environment. There are also a number of incentives for long-term partners, including fixed pricing in 6 months, a 5-7% discount, scheduled shipping, and free storage. Please contact the Kimecopak Facebook Fanpage or halo@kimecopak.ca for more information.

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