New study confirms hygienic properties of wood in contact with food
An extensive three-year research initiative conducted by the 'EMABOIS' consortium has demonstrated the microbiological and chemical safety of wooden surfaces in contact with fresh products such as fruits, vegetables, fish and dairy products.
The research outcomes - product of 27 projects directed by Aviat and Federighi - were presented at the 66th European Federation of Wooden Pallet & Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) Congress held last autumn in Cork, Ireland.
According to the study, there is a higher antimicrobial effect on wood by physical inhibition on species of wood, including spruce, pine and poplar. In particular, wood porosity is an advantage compared to other materials in contact with food and considered as 'smooth', such as plastic.
With regard to the migration of natural wood molecules, the EMABois consortium concluded that particularly natural, volatile, organic compounds are involved, but their transfer to food is limited, meaning they are safe for the consumer.
These findings are is in line with the microbiological comparative work on fish packaging conducted by Rodríguez Jerez of the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 2014.
In that case the research showed that, thanks to antimicrobial properties, wood containers develop less contamination after contact with fish, and do not affect the quality or safety of the fish.
For a summary of the EMABOIS study click here.