We all have different ways to store leftover food, depending on the type and amount of food. Whether it was a bowl of dal makhni from last night's dinner or a slice of cake that you were unable to finish, we usually put the remaining food in containers and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. However, many people also use aluminium foil to store their leftovers. It is also commonly used to pack tiffin meals. While aluminium foil is certainly easy to manage, it is not one of the best options to store food. Since aluminium contains many chemicals, it may cause harmful diseases and affect our overall health.
Also read: Is It Safe To Store Your Fruits and Veggies In Metal Containers?
As per research published in the journal, International Journal of Electrochemical Science, aluminium foil can react with acidic foods. "The metal - aluminium leaches out from the foil in different stimulants, particularly in distilled water as well as acidic and alkaline solution. It was found to be significantly higher in acidic and aqueous solutions in comparison to alcoholic and saline ones." The research further states how an increase in cooking temperature can cause more leaching. "The leaching is also highly dependent on the pH value of the food solution, salt, and spices added to the food solutions."
Several other studies also suggest that storing food in aluminium foil can create an airtight seal, which may lead to growth of bacteria or mould. This can be particularly problematic for perishable food items such as dairy products or meat. If not stored properly, they can spoil quickly. While using aluminium foil can be a convenient way of storing food, it's best to opt for other options. Experts recommend storing leftover food in cling wrap, glass containers or plastic containers. This prevents oxygen from getting in the food and keeps it fresh for a longer period of time.
Also read: Reducing Food Intake From Aluminium Packaging May Minimise Potential Health Risk
Here're Some Foods You Should Avoid Storing In Aluminium Foil:
- Acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits
- Spices such as garam masala, cumin and haldi
- Curries and pickles
- Cheese and butter
Here're Some Foods You May Store In Aluminium Foil:
- Cake and muffins
- Roasted vegetables or chicken
Now that you know the harmful effects of storing food in aluminium foil, opt for better options to protect your health.