Monday, February 28, 2011

Update: BPA-Free Tomato Products at Whole Foods & Eden

Earlier this month I wrote about the Bisphenol A (BPA)-free aluminum cans Muir Glen has begun to use for its canned tomato products. (BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical used in many plastics and aluminum cans. Muir Glen cans with expiration dates of 2013 may be BPA-free.)

I recently called Whole Foods and Eden Foods to find out what these progressive companies are doing on the BPA front.

Whole Foods, according to a spokesperson, is “searching for alternatives” to its house brand (365 Everyday Value) cans, which contain BPA. Aseptic boxes and glass jars are possibilities.

Whole Foods understands consumers’ concerns about BPA, she said, but it doesn’t want to “jump into something that doesn’t have a proven track record.” (This sounded like a critique of Muir Glen’s new cans, but the spokesperson said it wasn’t.)

Eden Foods, on the other hand, started using amber glass jars for some of its tomato products last month. Even though Eden has offered beans in BPA-free cans since 1999, a spokesperson made it sound like Eden’s can supplier, Ball Corporation, isn’t close to formulating a BPA-free can for highly-acidic tomato products.

According to an Eden press release, “[t]he driving force at Eden Foods for these amber glass jars of tomatoes was the avoidance of bisphenol-A (BPA) in high acid food cans, and failure of the can manufacturers to make BPA free cans for tomatoes.”

Should the responses from Whole Foods and Eden make me wonder about Muir Glen’s cans or are they just expected reactions from those late to the BPA-free-aluminum-cans-for-tomato-products party?


Oni said...

More time is needed to get a definite answer based on the information being given. The "may be BPA free" on Muir Glen's 2013 Expiring cans is misleading and that's where the confusion is coming from.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that aluminum cans (e.g. soda cans) are also lined with BPA?

Chef Rob said...

Oni - Agreed that Muir Glen's non-announcement announcement is confusing and unfair.

Anonymous - Just spoke with Coca-Cola and Pepsi. According to both, there are trace elements of BPA in the cans but because of the way the cans are constructed, no BPA gets into the cans' liquid. I asked Pepsi to email me the statement they read me; if I get it I will post it.

Mckean said...

Here is an article about plastics and chemicals I thought you'd like:


Chef Rob said...


Thanks for the link; very interesting article.

Thanks again.

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