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What is BPA?
Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a hard plastic resin used in food and drink packaging to act as a protective layer between food and metal containers. It is mainly used as a coating on canned foods, and on metal lids for glass jars and bottles. Alternatives to BPA include epoxy-phenolic, modified polyester and acrylic.
All of Suma’s food products packaging is BPA free or BPA-NI.
Legal safe limits and legislation
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is responsible for food safety and food hygiene in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The FSA, supporting the approach taken by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), notes that ‘on the balance of evidence, at current levels of exposure there is no appreciable health risk’ posed by BPA at the levels that it is found in food packaging.
BPA is a chemical used to make plastics, including food storage containers and refillable drinks bottles. It’s also used to make some protective coatings and linings for food and drinks cans.
Tiny amounts of the chemical can be transferred from packaging into food and drinks, however the level of BPA found in food is not considered to be harmful.
Information from the FSA on BPA in food containers.
As a food business, we have a responsibility to choose appropriate packaging to ensure food safety, affordability and a good shelf life. All our food packaging has been approved for safe use for foods, including ensuring that linings are within the legal limits for BPA content. Canned foods offer a cheap and convenient way to access nutritious foods, to minimise food waste and to provide products in fully recyclable packaging. This is why canned products continue to be important part of our Suma brand range.
BPA and organics
Soil Association standards require that BPA must not be used in packaging for organic foods. This is because some studies have shown that BPA has endocrine disrupting properties and toxic effects on our ability to reproduce. All of our organic product packaging is BPA free or BPA-NI.
What is BPA-NI?
BPA-NI (BPA non-intentional) means that although there is no BPA added as a constituent of a lacquer, BPA may be present in the pipework, raw material packaging, processing equipment etc. and small amounts may be picked up by the finished product during production.
Alternatives to BPA
Whilst we have faith in the guidance provided by the FSA we fully appreciate that some customers are concerned about the possible health issues in relation to BPA. Our huge range of dried beans and pulses offer an alternative to canned products and can work out better value for money, especially when purchased in bulk. And as we’ve mentioned, all our organic product packaging is BPA free or BPA-NI. In 2022/23 we will audit all our non-organic canned and jarred brand ranges to look at where we can continue to move away from BPA in can linings.
The integrity of our brand is very important to us and we take care to be a trusted source of information for our customers. We will keep up to date with the latest research and we are happy for you to contact us with any concerns or questions.