01 Jun Pizza & EPS
The magazine Il Salvagente has conducted a series of tests on takeaway pizza cartons and, although the sample under test is not relevant, it has found quantities of Bisphenol A higher than those required by the limits declared as tolerable in Europe. The products tested were from three companies, one of which was Italian: the latter found lower values than the other two European companies.
The presence of this substance derives from the production of cartons using recycled material, as the Italian Ministry of Health states. Bisphenol A can pass from the carton to the contained food therefore it enters in the human organism.
One way to protect is to check the symbology on the carton and still choose made in Italy cartons, as Italian legislation provides that cartons used for food can only be made from virgin cellulose. Unfortunately, however, the mutual recognition European clause means that Italian provisions do not apply to European producers, who can still reach the Italian market and sell a product often much cheaper.
The Italian Ministry of Health immediately decides to commission laboratories of research to control the presence of contaminants in recycled paper/cartons.
How could this problem be solved effectively? The AIPE (Italian Association of Expanded Polystyrene) has been proposing to replace the cartons with EPS. Polystyrene is a safe material for human health: it does not release substances and it is resistant to mold and bacteria, creating a real barrier between food and external contaminants. Moreover, it is a perfect insulator and it would contribute much better than takeaway cartons to have a pizza at home … just been baked!
See also: AIPE INFORMA 23/2019