Zinc oxide particles added to the lining of cans used to package certain vegetables, meats, and tuna to prevent bacteria growth and staining could affect the way the body absorbs nutrients, according to research from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
The researchers used mass spectrometry – an analytical technique to measure mass – to determine how many zinc oxide particles are typically transferred to canned foods, including asparagus, chicken, corn, and tuna. They found that the foods contained up to 100 times the daily dietary allowance of zinc.
According to Gretchen Mahler, associate professor of bioengineering at SUNY Binghamton, zinc oxide particles can collect in cells that line the digestive tract, changing the way the intestines absorb nutrients. But this study was conducted in a laboratory setting, and did not determine the effect, if any, of zinc oxide from canned goods on health.