Image credit Eden Foods
The press release from Eden Foods, touting their new, protective amber glass jars, said "The 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." But what about those metal lids?
When TreeHugger first looked at the issue of BPA in canning lids, the Jarden company, manufacturer of most canning supplies, declined to respond to emails. Their website acknowledged that there was BPA in the lids, but hid under the skirts of the FDA:
The FDA does not limit Bisphenol A in commercially packaged foods, and is aligned with the international scientific community's position that a small amount of Bisphenol A in contact with "canned foods" is not a health concern for the general public.
Eden Foods has gone a long way to getting rid of BPA in its cans, and has eliminated them from many products. But acidic tomatoes are really tough; That is why they introduced the amber glass bottles, saying in their press release:
Light causes discoloration and off-flavor through chemical change in food. Photo-oxidation (light damage) is systemic in food stores where fluorescent lighting, in particular, reduces food quality. Amber glass is difficult to get and more costly, but it best protects food.
But what about those lids? I emailed Eden Foods and was surprised to get a quick response, which I repeat in full, because it is honest and realistic:
A search for a lid for our glass jars again confirmed 'there's no such thing as a perfect food package.' Regardless, we found the best there is.
The inside of the twist caps has two coats of sealer between the food and the metal of the cap. The first applied coating has BPA present. The second protective sealant does not, isolating the first coating from contact with the jar's contents.
Potential for migration of BPA is reduced by the following:
1. An additional protective vinyl base overcoat facing the food, isolating the epoxy BPA containing coating. The coating containing BPA can never be in contact with the food.
2. The cap's inner surface is separated from the food by an area of air/vacuum.
3. The surface area exposed to the food is substantially less for a twist cap than for canned goods.
Today's most stringent regulations for food safety is in the European Union where these twist caps have been tested as safe in regards to BPA for use on food products. Currently, we are told, there is no known viable alternative to BPA based epoxy coatings that provides the same level of corrosion resistance and is as safe. We continually push our cap suppliers to develop BPA free constructed caps that will deliver required corrosion resistance, shelf life, and safety.
So while there is BPA present in the lid, they isolate it and separate it from the food with a vinyl layer. Not perfect, but better.
Knowing that there is not going to be any migration through the vinyl protective layer on such a small area of treated metal, Eden could have pulled a SIGG and said "tests show that there is no BPA in our food products" which no doubt would be true. Nor did they pull a Jarden and refuse to acknowledge the issue.
Instead they were open and transparent. Good for Eden Foods.
More on BPA in cans and canning:
Should I Dump My Old Sigg That Was Made With BPA ? : TreeHugger
Is There Bisphenol A In Your Home Canning?
BPA Danger may be greater from Tin Cans than Water Bottles
Bisphenol A Is In Your Tomato Sauce
Don't Panic: New Study on Bisphenol A (BPA) in Cans Shows Nothing New