Food Dehydrator Should There Being Concerns About Them?
I was just wondering that since food dehydrators interior are made out of polycarbonate trays. Should there be any concern about our healh? I've alway thought that anything that our food comes in contact with should be glass, pyrex, clay, stainless steel etc. As we all know that plastic is made with petroleum and can leach chemicals into our food. Can someone give some feedback on this question. I've seen them avertised stating that they are FDA approved. Honestly I don't trust much of anything that they have to say...Thanks
There could be. Plastics that are dangerous tend to leach chemicals when heated so..it could be a possible worry.
If you are concerned, buy a Sausage Maker Dehydrator. It is made out of stainless steel - you won't have to worry about any possible dangerous of the plastic. It is more powerful than the Excalibur too. All the trays and housing are stainless steel. I don't use the telflex sheets - I just use natural wax paper for my wet items.
I had never heard of a stainless steel dehydrator. I wonder though if it is able to keep a low temp below 109degrees(or somewhere around there). I always known metal to get really hot. hmm don't really know. It is a little scary about the plastic though.
This is off Excalibur's website: (not that I put much faith into the FDA, but...)
Is Polycarbonate Safe for Use in Dehydration
This Article Discusses the Concerns about the use of Polycarbonate Plastics in Food Dehydration.
Thank you for your inquiry about the safety of polycarbonate and it’s use in dehydration. We here at Excalibur are always looking at the safety of our products and only use the highest quality materials to ensure that we meet the highest standards possible. Here are two important facts about Excalibur Home Dehydrators:
Excalibur's Tray Screen Material is made from FDA Approved Polypropylene #5 which is one of the safest plastics for direct food contact. We use polycarbonate as the Case material because it is virtually indestructible; however, we use polypropylene #5 for the parts that your food sits on because it is the safest plastics for food contact available. ** Please note that food does not come into contact with polycarbonate- the plastic that your food sits on in the Excalibur is polypropylene #5 NOT polycarbonate**
FDA Approved polycarbonate is safe when used at low temperatures and will not give off harmful fumes like low-quality plastic dehydrators. The use of polycarbonate plastic for food contact applications has been and continues to be recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food, the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and other regulatory authorities worldwide. Important--make sure that you have FDA Approved for Food Contact polycarbonate as there are different types of polycarbonates.
Most of the concern around the safety of Polycarbonate arose when a 20/20 (ABC TV) report aired on April 19, 1999. This program reported on a warning from Consumer Reports telling parents to dispose of all polycarbonate baby bottles. Consumer Reports tested polycarbonate baby bottles and found that bisphenol-A off gassed from the polycarbonate and migrated from the bottles into the milk.
Bisphenol-A is a chemical that is used in making Polycarbonate. The problems arose when parents were microwaving and boiling polycarbonate baby bottles repeatedly. The important fact to note is that in this study, the polycarbonate was subjected to extremely high temperatures-- over 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
The fact of the matter is ALL MATERIALS OFF GAS or breakdown be it plastics, metal or wood- It depends on what temperatures a particular material starts to soften and at what temperature that particular material starts to breakdown. Polycarbonate’s softening point is 302 – 320 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s melting point is 428 - 446 degrees Fahrenheit. When polycarbonate is exposed to EXTREEM temperatures it can start to soften but that does not mean that harmful chemicals are released. Many studies have tried to duplicate the migration of bispenol-A and have not been able to show that a safety concern exists.
In 2005 the safety of polycarbonate bottles was examined by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority in a study that measured migration from 22 baby bottles (representing 14 brands). The bottles had been used for up to three years in households under typical conditions including microwave heating, boiling before use and dishwashing. Consistent with many other studies, no migration of bisphenol- A was detected from the bottles.
A similar study was sponsored by the United Kingdom's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Consumer Affairs Directorate, Consumer Safety Research program and conducted by LGC Ltd (Earls et al, 2000). The study examined 21 new baby bottles purchased from various retail outlets in the London area and tested under "realistic worst-case conditions of use." The bottles were washed and sterilized, filled with either boiling water or 3% acetic acid solution, capped, and placed in a refrigerator for 24 hours. After warming briefly, the contents were analyzed. In every case, no bisphenol- A was detected.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.K. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) both measured migration of bisphenol- A from polycarbonate baby bottles into infant formula or fruit juice. In the FDA study (Biles et al, 1997), bottles were washed, sterilized, filled with apple juice or infant formula and refrigerated for 72 hours. These conditions were characterized as typical or normal. No bisphenol- A was found in any sample.
Likewise, in the extensive UK MAFF study (Mountfort et al, 1997; MAFF, 1997), baby bottles were repeatedly processed through a sequence in which the bottles were washed, sterilized (three methods tested), filled with fruit juice or infant formula, warmed in a microwave oven, cooled, and analyzed. After as many as 30 cycles, bisphenol- A was not detected in any sample. In addition, no detectable levels of bisphenol- A were found when the bottles were periodically filled with water and held at 104 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 days.
As you can see the above results do not support the warning from Consumer Reports; however, what is completely clear is the fact that Polycarbonate’s softening point is 302 – 320 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s melting point is 428 - 446 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the temperatures of dehydration do not even approach 160 degrees Fahrenheit and most people dehydrate at a much lower temperature than that- there are NO SAFETY concerns in using polycarbonate at low temperatures. In fact our dehydrators are built with a thermally sensitive safety fuse so that incase of a malfunction it will cut off the dehydrators heat way before it reaches it’s softening point thus protecting you and your family.
Bottom line, polycarbonate poses no known risk to human health when used at the low temperatures of dehydration and food does not come into contact with polycarbonate- the plastic that your food sets on in the Excalibur is polypropylene #5 NOT polycarbonate. The use of FDA Approved polycarbonate plastic for food contact applications (which Excalibur uses)has been and continues to be recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food, the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and other regulatory authorities worldwide.
If you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com
Written by: Shauna Verkade, CEO
I have heard people using nori sheets instead of the teflex...neat idea!
i personally believe the risk of the dehydrator harming us is soooooo small if at all.
same with the vita-mix...
honestly the benefits of using these products far outweighs any risk IMO. but... it's just my opinion. :)
Yes, it does! I can go pretty low. I normally keep mine at 115 though but it goes lower than that. I have had it at 110 and 105 before. I stick a digital room thermometer in there to double check the temp. No, the metal doesn't get really hot - only if you crack it up really hot. Other wise it stays pretty cool.
Originally Posted by calypso80
Plastic Vs. Stainless Steel (from Excalibur's Website
IMPORTANT NEWS - PLASTIC VS. STAINLESS STEEL 2007-07-02
As stainless steel appliances have come into fashion one question remains- is stainless steel better than plastic for food dehydration? Well it depends- Not all stainless steel is created equal just like not all plastics are the same. Some people are under the misconception that stainless steel is healthier and of higher quality than plastic. However, it all depends on the grade of stainless steel. Lower grades of stainless steel can be mixed with other metals which can change in color, density and safety when coming into contact with heat and food.
Excalibur has been the leader in Dehydration technology for over 35 years. We lead the commercial dehydrator market with our premier-quality, double-walled stainless steel dehydrators so we know the important features that are mandatory for health and safety when it comes to dehydration and working with stainless steel.
When looking at a stainless steel dehydrator here are the questions you MUST ask when it comes to your health and safety:
1) What type of stainless steel is the dehydrator made out of?- Not all stainless steel is the same- to make it stainless cheaper-lower grades are mixed with other metals which can change the color, density and safety when coming into contact with heat and food.
2) What are the Trays made of? - Many low grade stainless steel dehydrators do not come with stainless steel trays- they are sold with trays that are Chrome plated and/or nickel plated. Keep in mind your food is setting on these trays. Over time this plating can chip off in your foods and rust. Chrome plating usually makes use of hexavalent chromium (Cr+6). Many studies in the last decade have shown it to be dangerous citing evidence that hexavalent chromium causes lung cancer and other serious health conditions. Because of these health concerns, the chrome plating process has come under increased regulations in the U.S. based on chrome’s hazardous and environmentally toxic properties. In order to avoid increased regulations many companies have moved their operations overseas. -Most Important---If you purchase a stainless steel dehydrator-- Make sure that the Trays are 100% stainless steel. In our commercial dehydrators we use only 100%stainless steel trays.
3) Where is the dehydrator manufactured?- beware of low-grade stainless steel coming out of China- and chrome plated trays from overseas. Excalibur is proud to be a U.S. made product.
4) Is the Dehydrator a green product? Stainless steel is not green. It is a necessity in commercial applications—but not needed for home use. Support Green Products, Buy Recycled, Buy Green!
5) How long has the manufacturer been in business and what is the warranty?-Beware of companies that purchase low grade dehydrators from China and put their name on it. Parts might not be available when needed and many of them cook foods rather than dehydrate them.
6) Are the edges rounded and seamless for easy cleaning? Low grade units will have sharp 90 degree corners and have cracks/crevices where the metal comes together. This is where food can become lodged creating the perfect environment for mold and bacteria to grow.
Why our FDA Approved Polycarbonate Construction is Better than Stainless Steel for Home Use.
High quality stainless steel is appropriate for businesses but it’s much too expensive for home owners- the key word is high quality stainless. Anyone can make a low grade stainless steel dehydrator and include chrome plated trays, but you do not know what has been mixed with the stainless steel – and chrome plated trays can pose health concerns.
Some customers have asked us to make a stainless steel home dehydrator like our commercial dehydrators. To produce a homeowner-priced stainless steel dehydrator, we would have to seriously downgrade components- going to single-wall construction, for example, which has rough edges and is hot to the touch. We pride ourselves in providing high quality products and support using green products whenever possible. Stainless steel is appropriate for commercial uses but unnecessary for home use. Here are some key reasons why Polycarbonate is better than stainless steel for home use:
I have one made of all stainless steel....the plastic made me uneasy...and as a cook I leaned to stainless out of habit.
But I do agree...the harm is probably not much for either material as we don't use high temps. With plastic it is a PBA problem with leeching while WET. (hence the water bottle issues) I don't think any of you are soaking your dehydrators.
plastic leaching issue
In response to firstname.lastname@example.org, and her answer. While it may be safe to put the food on Polypropleyne, why don't you use that for the housing too?
After all the issues we have had with the FDA working for the conglomeretes and not the consumer, its obvious we cannot trust their tests and results.
All materials breakdown overtime, and outgas. Esp as temperature rises. Also, can you comment on WHICH models and what year POLYPropelyene was being used, I am thinking of buying a used one.
beware of cheap "stainless steel" food dehydrators
I've read alot of people that recommend purchasing the stainless steel food dehydrator from the sausage company if they are worried about the plastic in all the other dehydrators. They assemble the product in the USA...But the stainless steel comes from China and isn't 100% stainless. It's a mix of metals. I started doing some research and found out if it is 100% stainless steel, it's going to be very expensive. Most stainless steel pots/pans etc. are made of a mix of metals. I've also read many bloggers and sites that say China makes it cheapest because they use toxins, like in many other things Just something to consider!!
The excalibur box is plastic, but I plan on dehyrating at very low temps...
I am thinking about getting the excalibur, but spending the extra money for the 100% stainless steel replacement trays. (the part that comes in contact with the food and using nori seaweed sheets instead of a plastic liner)
Has anyone else used the seaweed sheets as a liner?
I believe the new Sedona dehydrator by TriBest is BPA free...
Originally Posted by pepper40
my biggest concern about dehydrated foods is the dehydrating effect they have on the body.
I feel happier eating fresh, high water content foods and would only ever have dehydrated foods very occasionally.
If you are using quality dehydrator that everything is OK, stay away from $50-$100 models.
Found yesterday quality dehydrator (15% off) so take a look, that is one of models that are worth to be considered...
Beautiful Dehydrator. :)
Originally Posted by carefulMom