Feb 9, 2020 2 min read

Cooking in papillote with aluminium, what is the health risk?

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For several years now, the risk associated with the ingestion of aluminium has been increasingly cited in studies.

Study “Risk Assessment of Using Aluminum Foil in Food Preparation”.

The study “Risk Assessment of Using Aluminum Foil in Food Preparation” (Ghada Bassioni, Fathia S. Mohammed , Essam Al Zubaidy and Issam Kobrsi) published in the International Journal of Electrochemical science in 2012 is one of the interesting sources of information.

The study confirms When cooking with an aluminium container, the transfer of aluminium to the food is confirmed.

Anses study

The National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety conducted a study in 2016: “Exposure to aluminium through food”.

Here’s the report from the Anses: [https://www.anses.fr/fr/system/files/EAUX-Ra-Aluminium.pdf]

The toxic effects of aluminium can mainly affect bone tissue and the central nervous system (psychomotor disorders, encephalopathies).

The confirmed clinical effects of aluminium have always been observed in situations of regular high exposures: patients with renal insufficiency on dialysis, parenteral nutrition, professionally exposed persons. In workers, toxicity manifests itself mainly at the pulmonary and nervous levels.

In 2016, the ANSES concluded that no studies have shown such effects in the general population, exposed through diet or health products.

European Food Safety Authority

On 15 July 2018, EFSA issued a Scientific Opinion “Safety of aluminium from food sources”: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/fr/press/news/080715

Dietary exposure to aluminium has been the subject of several studies in different European countries. The Panel found that exposure can vary considerably from person to person. The average dietary exposure for adults ranges from 0.2 to 1.5 mg per kilogram of body weight per week. For children and youth, the highest levels of exposure range from 0.7 to 2.3 mg per kilogram of body weight.

Given the persistence of aluminum in the body, the Panel felt that a Tolerable Weekly Intake (TWI) rather than a Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) should be established, and set a TWI of 1 mg/kg body weight/week.

Although wood-fired potatoes are delicious, as a precautionary measure, I have stopped using aluminum foil for all foil cooking.