BPA free cans, can you find them?

365 Tomatoes

365 Tomatoes

Given reports that Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor, is in canned goods, many people are wondering how to buy canned goods without BPA. It turns out that finding cans that do not have BPA is harder than you might think. Avoiding epoxy-based can linings would be a good start if it were possible to tell which cans had epoxy-based linings. You should be able to be confident in claims on a can that clearly state that the can is BPA free BADGE free or both. However inspecting a Whole Foods can of tomatoes reveals that they use a water-based clear enamel lining. This sounds good, but seems to be a very odd thing to say. If you knew that your consumers were interested in avoiding BPA and you were using cans that did not have BPA wouldn’t you just come out and say so. Eden Organic makes some BPA free canned products but according to their website even as an industry leader in BPA free canned products they are still not able to provide BPA free cans for tomato products.

There are of course ways to transport even acidic foods like tomatoes without exposing them to BPA. People were putting tomatoes in glass jars before anyone even knew about BPA.* Also, there have been multiple attempts to make BPA free can liners. United States patent number 7,659,341 teaches a polyester-based poly-alcohol that makes up a BPA free liner. United States patent number 7,858,162 teaches a cross-linked acrylic polymer that is free of epoxies. United States patent number 7,682,674 teaches another BPA/BADGE free PVC/acrylic polymer for can linings.

In summary, you may be able to get BPA free canned tomatoes but they are not easy to find.  Here are few people who have found BPA free tomato products, some in cans, others in bottles and cartons: Soft Landing (Pomi) and The Delicious Truth (Eden and Muir Glen).

*Most glass canning jars have coated metal lids. Because BPA/BADGE coatings are the most popular “food grade” metal coatings even glass jars may be suspect containers.