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If you like eating canned food then think again! Researchers recently conducted a study on the transfer of particles into canned food, and found that there may be harmful toxins lurking in it which could destroy your digestive system.

Zinc Oxide Contamination Found In Canned Food

In a first study of its type, the US team found in cans of sweetcorn, tuna, asparagus and chicken which are generally low in zinc, extremely high levels of zinc contamination.

In the tuna cans they found the tuna that was touching the inside of the can to be most contaminated with over 5,000 ppm but the tuna in the center of the can contained almost the same amount as well.

It was observed that tinned chicken had the 2nd most contamination which was followed by asparagus and sweetcorn.

It was observed in a lab model of the human small intestine, there was found tiny particles of zinc, or nanoparticles, which caused inflammation and also made it more permeable, which meant that the toxic chemicals which should have been excreted was getting into the bloodstream.

Bioengineer Professor Gretchen Mahler, of Binghamton University, New York, said: “It was found the zinc present in a serving of these foods is approximately one hundred times higher than the recommended dietary allowance.”

The researcher showed that tiny pieces of fragment, or nanoparticles, settled on the cells in the gastro-intestinal tract and altered it.

She further added that zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles changes the way intestine absorbs nutrients. These nanoparticles cause pro inflammatory signalling at high doses, and  increase the permeability of the intestinal model.

Adding that increase in intestinal permeability is not good since compounds which should not be passing into the bloodstream, are passing through it which means that zinc present in the tins could be putting the consumers at risk of ingestion of nano particles.


Our endeavour at foodnetindia is to highlight and educate our readers on food safety issues in India, and we hope that reading this study on the high levels of zinc oxide in canned food would make you want to cook from scratch and ditch those canned tins of food!


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