Research indicates aluminium safe for microwave

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Aluminium foil Microwave oven European aluminium foil association

Aluminium foil packaging can be used safely in microwave ovens
according to an industry study conducted by the Fraunhofer
Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV.

The results could help lessen consumer fears that heating or cooking food in aluminium packs by microwave is unsafe, according to the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA), which paid for the study with the support of the US Aluminium Foil Container Manufacturers Association (AFCMA).

The Fraunhofer Institute, based in Freising, found no hazardous results or damage to ovens were found in the more than 200 food portions that were heated in aluminium foil containers or packs containing aluminium foil.

The Fraunhofer Institute conducted the heating procedures with the microwave ovens set at maximum power, stated Thomas Pfeiffer, the study's author. He reported that there was not a single case of damage to the microwave ovens or danger to the users.

Four kitchen microwave ovens were used to test aluminium foil trays containing tap water, egg batter, frozen lasagne and minced meat. Tests were also conducted on plastic cups and plastic trays containing a noodle soup and a children's menu, covered with either aluminium foil or aluminium laminate lid.

The study found some differences in the time needed to heat products when aluminium foil containers were compared with plastic trays. Due to variations in heating patterns and depending on tray geometry and food type, heating times for aluminium foil packs were sometimes longer, Pfeiffer stated.

"The study also provides some interesting results regarding heating patterns and heating uniformity,"​ Pfeiffer stated. "In some cases they appeared to be better in aluminium foil trays."

He found that in some instances consumer convenience is improved as the use of aluminium foil enhances the appearance of the food when heated in the microwave oven. For example the study found that the visual appearance of microwave oven heated lasagne improved as a brown crust was formed on the surface.

EAFA has recently adopted AFCMA's Micro-Save logo to promote the use of aluminium foil in microwaveable packs. The logo is intended to be used by packaging manufacturers as well as fillers to help convince consumers that it is safe to use alufoil packaging in microwave ovens.

EAFA represents 130 companies engaged in the rolling and rewinding of alufoil and in the manufacture of alufoil containers and flexible packaging.

Related topics Processing & packaging

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