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Written by Bettina Schuette on November 16, 2020 in News

Wyda SA aluminium foil and trays offer protection against carcinogenic substances
A balmy summer’s evening, chilled drinks, mouth-watering aromas, delicious culinary treats. The invitations to the Braai are out, and everyone’s licking their chops in anticipation. To make sure that the big sizzle over the hot coals will be a hot and tasty experience for their guests, hobby and professional braai aficionados often reach out for aluminium foil or trays.
Is grilling with aluminium utensils a health risk? Or does grilling on aluminium trays or foil have a protective effect, ensuring that fat doesn’t drip into the hot coals, where it can burn and release carcinogenic substances into the food?
True, grilling pre-seasoned meat and vegetables or fish drizzled with lemon juice can result in aluminium ions migrating from aluminium trays or foil into the food on the grid. On the other hand, however, the use of aluminium trays or foil helps prevent fat from dripping into the hot coals, where it can burn and release carcinogenic substances. The decisive aspect, there¬fore, is to make sure that the trays are used in the proper way.
Here are a few tips from SA’s Number 1. supplier of aluminium containers and foil, Wyda SA, on how to use aluminium trays and foil properly to prepare your food in a healthy and safe way:

  1. Aluminium foil trays protect against PAHs
    Aluminium grilling trays and foil protect the consumer against hazardous substances that may occur during the grilling process, since the health risks involved when grilling directly on the grid are many times greater than when cooking the food on a tray. Aluminium trays or foil made of aluminium act as a barrier here, pre¬venting the grilled food from absorbing hazardous substances.
  2. Spices are the aluminium tray’s worst enemy
    Please don’t leave acid- or salt-containing food to stand in uncoated grilling trays, also don’t wrap it in household aluminium foil. Always season your grilled food only after it comes off the grill and onto your plate. This ensures that you get the maximum protection from aluminium foil products.
  3. No burning – more flavour
    So aluminium is in principle ideally suited for grilling: it offers protection against high tempera¬tures, the food doesn’t burn so quickly and doesn’t stick to the grid. Food that’s wrapped in aluminium foil, e.g. fish and vegetables, stays tender and succulent, and has a more intense flavour.
  4. Cooking “au point”
    Thanks to the excellent heat-conduction properties of aluminium, the food is cooked evenly throughout, in other words aluminium distributes the cooking heat homogeneously.
  5. When the party’s over: recycle
    Using aluminium foil and grilling trays also helps reduce waste. After use, the aluminium from which the trays and foil are made can be recycled many times over, without any forfeit of the material’s quality and with a low energy investment. This is why such items should be dis¬posed in the recycling bin. The recycling of aluminium consumes only about five per cent of the energy needed to make aluminium from bauxite.
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