Product Guide: BPA-Free Canned Foods

Our recent list of Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to BPA included avoiding canned foods, the vast majority of which contain BPA in their linings. However, there do exist a handful of companies and products that are – or at least intend to be – BPA-free.

Eden Foods: Eden Foods has been at the forefront of BPA-free canning and in 1999 started packing its beans in steel cans coated with plant-derived oleoresinous c-enamel. According to the company’s Web site, all of its Organic Beans including Chili, Rice & Beans, Refried, and Flavored are packed in BPA-free cans. (Its tomatoes, however, are packed in BPA-lined cans.) There has been some concern following a recent Consumer Reports study that found a small amount (1 part per billion) of BPA in Eden Baked Beans. CR reported that its tests indicated BPA was probably not used in the can linings. In an article in Natural Foods Merchandiser, Eden’s president was quoted as saying that the BPA may have come from canned tomatoes used in the baked beans and the company is exploring alternatives.

Vital Choice: Vital Choice transitioned to BPA-free containers for its canned seafood last year. The aforementioned Consumer Reports study found an average of 20 ppb of BPA in the company’s canned tuna but, again, tests showed the BPA probably did not come from the can linings. In a company newsletter, Vital Choice’s president said they are examining the cause – possibly the can lids – and are trying to resolve the issue.

Oregon’s Choice: Oregon’s Choice packs its 6-ounce Lightly Salted Albacore in BPA-free cans. The company says it plans to have the rest of its canned seafood in BPA-free cans within two years.

Trident Seafoods: Trident Seafoods‘ Web site states that “Bisphenol A has never been in our can lining.” The company owns a number of canned seafood labels including Lily, Rubenstein, Prelate, Tulip, Royal, Sea Alaska, Whitney, Sno Tip, Faust, and Bear & Wolf.

Other brands: Some third-party Web sites suggest that certain canned products from EcoFish (aka Henry & Lisa’s Natural Seafood) and The Native Forest are BPA-free but we have not been able to confirm this.

Pet food: While searching for information on BPA in canned pet food, we found a post on the topic at Truth About Pet Food. While it’s not an authoritative source of information, it does provide some starting points.

A note on aseptic packaging: Aseptic packaging such as Tetra Pak is BPA-free, which is especially good news for those who aren’t into canning their own tomatoes or can’t find them in glass jars. However, if you’re trying to avoid all plastic, be aware that it does contain low-density polyethylene (LDPE).

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