Canadian Packaging

Survey Says Eat Your Soup


June 7, 2010
by Canadian Packaging Staff

In the recently released Survey of Bisphenol A in Canned Food Products from Canadian Markets, Health Canada says there is no risk from Bisphenol A (BPA) in canned food. BPA is an organic compound and is a building block of plastics and plastic additives, which in the case of the canned goods are used in the protective linings on the can’s interior walls and lids.

While the study, which looked at a range of canned tuna, soups, vegetables and tomato-based products, shows that BPA was present in 78 of the 79 cans it tested, it was not at a significant level and did not present a health risk to the general population.

The survey notes: "On average, the BPA levels observed in the vast majority of samples within this survey are consistent with those of past surveys and are not considered to represent a human health concern. Health Canada continues to work with the food packaging industry to better identify the factors which may influence BPA migration to food, with a goal to limit human exposure to BPA to the greatest extent possible."

While BPA was detected in almost all 78 canned food products; the BPA level in only one product (tomato paste) was below the method detection limit (MDL) of 0.60 ng/g (1.0 ng/g is equivalent to 1.0 part per billion).

Canned tuna products had the highest BPA levels, in general, with average and maximum BPA levels of 137 and 534 ng/g, respectively. Canned soup products had the next highest BPA levels with levels in condensed soup products considerably higher than those in the ready-to-serve soup products, with average and maximum BPA levels of 52 and 94 ng/g for the condensed soup compared to 15 and 34 ng/g for the ready-to-serve soup.

Health Canada comments that the results found are purely exploratory and should not be used as an indicator of the distribution of BPA in canned food products.

To see a PDF of the full report, click HERE.