Can I Bake With Aluminum Foil?

This article answers the question, “Can I Bake With Aluminum Foil?” with details about aluminum foil as well as the benefits and dangers of cooking in aluminum foil pans.

Can I Bake With Aluminum Foil?

Yes, you can bake in aluminum foil. Cakes and brownies are regular things that are baked in aluminum trays and foils. Aluminum foil trays are a particularly convenient kitchen item.

It can be used to marinate, grill in, store things, and for baking. But there are upsides and downsides to cooking and baking in aluminum foils. Let’s fill you in on that in this article.

The aforementioned factors generate and promote global demand for aluminum aimed at production of hitech consumer goods and, thus, promote development and growth of the global aluminum industry. Global production of primary aluminum in 2015 amounted to 57 MMT, by 9 % higher than in 2014 (1).

Aluminum foil

Aluminum foil, or tin foil, is a paper-slender, gleaming sheet of aluminum metal. It’s made by moving huge chunks of aluminum until they are under 0.2 mm thick. It’s utilized economically for different purposes, including packing, protection, and transportation. It’s likewise broadly accessible in supermarkets for family use.

At home, individuals use aluminum foil for food stockpiling, to cover baking surfaces, and to wrap food sources, like meats, to keep them from losing dampness while cooking. Individuals may likewise utilize aluminum foil to wrap and secure more fragile food sources, similar to vegetables when barbecuing them.

Ultimately, it very well may be utilized to line barbecue trays to keep things clean and for eliminating difficult stains and buildups from pans and barbecue grills.

Benefits of Aluminum Foil Pans

Aluminum foil is made of aluminum. The lightweight, heat-directing properties of aluminum make it incredible for preparing a wide range of food. They by and large come in various shapes and sizes and are useful for whatever it is you’re heating. And they’re much handier compared to normal baking trays.

One more extraordinary advantage of aluminum foil pans is that they can be used for various purposes and needs. They can be directly used for baking, used for carrying food. They can be used for serving food and you can discard them later. They are a convenient choice for a baker that saves time, money, and effort.

Factors That Increase Aluminum In Food:

Aluminum may be naturally present in food and some of it comes from food additives and medications. Foil, cooking utensils, and containers may leak aluminum into your food. The amount of aluminum that goes into your food from foil depends on certain factors.

The aluminum migration seems to depend on several factors, e.g. grilling duration, heating temperature, composition, food pH value, and presence of any other substances (such as organic acids and salt). Other studies indicate that the aluminum leaching for 1 – 3 hours beef baked samples in aluminum foil ranged between 59.83 – 220.20 mg/kg.  Aluminum is found to leach out from the foil in different stimulants; particularly in distilled water as well as acidic and alkaline media. The migration is found to be above the permissible limit. Leaching of aluminum is found significantly higher in acidic and aqueous media in comparison to alcoholic and saline media. Higher temperature conditions also enhance the rate of migration of aluminum in acidic and aqueous media (2).

Temperature

The higher the temperature is the more aluminum is leached into food. In a study, the levels of aluminum content in different types of meat (beef, water buffalo, mutton, chicken, and turkey) packed with aluminum foil and cooked in an oven at three different temperatures/time periods (150 °C for 60 minutes, 200 °C for 40 minutes, and 250 °C for 20 minutes) have been studied. The results indicate that cooking increases the aluminum concentration in both white and red meats by 89 – 378 % in red meats and 76 – 215 % in poultry. The least increase (76 – 115 %) is observed in the samples baked for 60 min at 150 °C, while the highest increase (153 – 378 %) is in the samples baked for 20 min at 250 °C (2).

Types of food

Acidic food products pass more aluminum from foil into your food.  Aluminum migration into acidic solvent when heated for 30 minutes at 95 °C was higher than that in the tap water and ranged from a factor of 60 for 0.5 % aqueous citric acid to a factor of 200 for 4 % aqueous acetic acid concentration (2). 

Ingredients

Salt and spices increase the aluminum content in your food. In a study, leaching of the aluminum foil in solution containing 3 g of spices was 4 times the leaching found in a solution without spices (2).

Why Is Aluminum Dangerous?

Aluminum is a neurotoxin. A neurotoxin is a toxin that is destructive to the nerve tissues. Aluminum can accumulate in the brain and inhibit some of the crucial functions of the blood-brain barrier.

It can lead to significant damage to the neurons of the central nervous system. Healthy people are able to get rid of small amounts of aluminum. However, aluminum may be a potential risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover aluminum could be a contributing factor to inflammatory bowel disease.

Toxic actions of Al induce oxidative stress, immunologic alterations, genotoxicity, pro-inflammatory effect, peptide denaturation or transformation, enzymatic dysfunction, metabolic derangement, amyloidogenesis, membrane perturbation, iron dyshomeostasis, apoptosis, necrosis and dysplasia. The pathological conditions associated with Al toxicosis are desquamative interstitial pneumonia, pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, granulomas, granulomatosis and fibrosis, toxic myocarditis, thrombosis and ischemic stroke, granulomatous enteritis, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, anemia, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, sclerosis, autism, macrophagic myofasciitis, osteomalacia, oligospermia and infertility, hepatorenal disease, breast cancer and cyst, pancreatitis, pancreatic necrosis and diabetes mellitus (3).

Less than 2 mg of aluminum per 2.2 pounds body weight a week is considered safe by the world health organization. You can’t remove aluminum from your diet but you can minimize your exposure to it.

Avoid Exposure To Aluminum

Cook at lower temperatures when possible, and don’t use foil when you cook acidic foods, like tomatoes and lemons. For cooking and food storage, use non-aluminum utensils like glass or porcelain. Avoid commercially processed foods as they contain food additives and may be packed in aluminum. Aluminum foil is not suitable for cooking, especially with acidic food. It is also possible that excessive consumption of food baked with aluminum foil may carry a serious health risk (2).

Would It Be Advisable For You To Stop Using Aluminum Foil?

Aluminum foil isn’t considered harmful, yet it can build the aluminum content of your food to a small extent. In case you are worried about the presence of aluminum in your diet, you can quit cooking with aluminum foil.

In any case, the quantity of aluminum that foil adds to your food is negligible. The amount of aluminum that foil contributes to your food is considered safe. Because it is far below the dangerous limits. So eliminating aluminum foil from your baking may not be essential.

Aluminum Is Naturally Present In Food

Aluminum is one of the most commonly found metals on the planet. In its regular state, it is bound to different components like phosphate and sulfate in soil and rocks. It’s additionally found in limited quantities in water and food.

Indeed, it’s normally present in many food sources, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, grains, and dairy items. A few food sources, for example, tea leaves, mushrooms, spinach, and radishes may have the ability to absorb and retain aluminum than other food varieties. Processed dairy products and flour may be high in Al if they contain Al-based food additives. Al occurs ubiquitously in natural waters due to weathering of Al-containing rocks and minerals and mobilization from terrestrial to aquatic environment (3).

Moreover, a portion of the aluminum you eat comes from additives, preservatives, and anti-caking substances. Note that processed food varieties contain added substances that contain more aluminum compared to home-based food (3).

The quantity of aluminum present in the food relies generally upon the presence of aluminum in the soil, absorption of aluminum from food, and the type of food additives. In addition, The route of intoxication with pharmaceuticals and agrochemical sources may be through inhalation of aerosols, ingestion of medications or by parenteral administration. Humans and animals are exposed to Al-containing medications such as phosphate binders, antacids, buffered analgesics, antidiarrheal and antiulcer drugs (3).

Other FAQs about Baking that you may be interested in.

Can you bake cookies on aluminum foil? (+7 pros)

Can you bake a cake in an aluminum pan?

Can you bake with freezer paper? (1 Extraordinary substitute)

Conclusion:

In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can I bake with aluminum foil?” with an in-depth analysis of aluminum foil as well as the benefits and dangers of cooking in aluminum foil pans.

References:

  1. Dudin, M. N., et al. Modern trends and challenges of development of global aluminum industry. Metalurgija, 2017, 56, 255-258.
  2. Bassioni, Ghada, et al. Risk assessment of using aluminum foil in food preparation. Int. J. Electrochem. Sci, 2012, 7, 4498-4509.
  3. Igbokwe, Ikechukwu Onyebuchi, Ephraim Igwenagu, and Nanacha Afifi Igbokwe. Aluminium toxicosis: a review of toxic actions and effects. Interdisciplin toxicol, 2019, 12, 45-70.