Aluminium (Al) is a non-essential element for life which has no recognized biological functions in humans. Al is ubiquitous in our environment and ingestion, through food and drink, is currently unavoidable due to its natural presence in soils, crops, water and packaging. With rising concerns regarding Al intake and the associated toxicity from packaging materials, the primary aim of this study was to assess the safety of Al packaged foods by measuring and contrasting Al content in common foods, available for sale in Ireland, in both Al and non-Al packaging. In addition, recommended servings for adults and children along with percentage contribution to the Tolerable Weekly Intake (TWI) of Al were calculated, as defined by the European Food Safety Authority. It was observed that ready to drink beverages has Al levels ranging from 0.07 mg/L to 2.77 mg/L, whilst the Al content of solid foods was between 1.81-21 mg/kg. Baby foods proved to have particularly high Al levels and even sometimes higher levels than those intended for adults. Results also showed no significant difference between many forms of packaging with regard to Al content, indicating that leaching is limited. However, Al packaged orange juice, cola and cider proved to have significantly higher Al content than their non-Al packaged versions. This may be attributed to their high acid concentration, corrosion as well as contact time between the can and drink and to the presence of aggressive substances i.e. salts and acids and the quality of material used for the can production.
Citation: Keaveney K, Murphy A, Jaiswal AK and Jaiswal S. 2020. Aluminum Content of Selected Foods and Beverages Available in Irish Market. J Food Chem Nanotechnol 6(3): 150-158.