One of the hottest topics in the kitchen at the moment is the safety of plastics; something we’ve been passionate about for a long time and the reason why all of our sous vide bags and pouches are fully BPA-Free. One of the most commonly asked questions is how safe it is to cook using plastic and we totally understand your concerns and are here to address them and showcase that the only worry is BPA.
If you’re still none the wiser as to what BPA is and why you need to ensure you’re only cooking sous vide using BPA-Free bags, read on…
What Is BPA?
In simple terms; when it comes to cooking, there’s ‘plastics’ and there’s ‘bad plastics.’ As you’ve probably guessed, polycarbonates, which release BPA (the chemical bisphenol-A) fall under the category of ‘bad plastics.’
This is commonly found in the likes of cling film, takeaway containers, water bottles, plastic plates and similar.
When used for such purposes (wrapping food, to hold water, to eat off etc), there’s no issues; hence why polycarbonates are commonly used in this way. The issues arise when you heat such plastics.
A study from 2011 found that, when heated, such plastics release BPA. It is thought that BPA mimics the structure and function of the hormone estrogen and, as such, can bind to estrogen receptors and influence bodily processes, such as growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy levels and reproduction.
The bottom line is that BPA isn’t something you want to be ingesting.
How About Sous Vide?
Of course, one of the most common concerns about sous vide cooking is the use of plastics (at heat), however the main thing to remember here is that you should always be using BPA-Free bags and pouches.
We’re proud that all of our products are completely BPA-free.
Our bags and pouches are manufactured with a polyamide (PA) airtight outer skin and a polyethylene (PE) inner layer approved for food use, meaning zero oxygen penetration and excellent sealing.
You’ll also be pleased to know that they are independently verified as free from Bisphenol-A, phthalates, and lead, and their excellent heat resistance allows sous vide cooking up to 110°C.
The bottom line is to always ensure that you’re purchasing bags which are verified as BPA-free. You cannot be too careful, and it’s this reason why it’s always recommended that you purchase from a reputable supplier; using specialist sous vide bags as opposed to trying ‘home hacks’ which many have been known to talk about online.
So long as you stick to verified products which you know you can trust (bought from trustworthy suppliers who can openly claim that their products are safe for sous vide use), you can rest assured that the bags aren’t releasing BPA when heated.
Of course, another solution is to consider using reusable silicone bags such as our own Stasher pouches.
Silicone has quickly become a household name in the fall-out of toxic plastics and is fast becoming popular amongst sous vide chefs as well.