plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
What leaches from stainless steel cookware?
We are looking at stainless steel cookware and are trying to determine which type of stainless steel is the most resistant to leaching into the food.
1. What type of stainless steel is most non-reactive (foods, liquids, under any heat or acid conditions)?
2. Are there any recent reliable studies that show the amounts of metals leaching into the water or food under different conditions (heat, acid, liquid, etc.) from the different varieties of stainless steel cookware? Or perhaps is there a list somewhere? Thanks very much. KatherineKatherine Williams
- San Francisco, California
The FDA specifies stainless for use in food processing plants. The most common alloy there is 304 stainless, but 316 is more chemical resistant, leading to less chance of leaching. FDA's site will have information like what you're looking for. Leaching of metals from stainless into food or water is going to be so incredibly insignificant that you may not even find any real research on it. Chemical resistant alloys like stainless are just that, chemical resistant, short of acid attack or oxidizing they just don't come apart.
- Pearland, Texas