Wood and hygiene


rom the magazine: DER SPIEGEL

Wood better than plastic? For years, was regarded as made out that plastic cutting boards are hygienic in the kitchen than those made of wood.

In an attempt to give the same guarantee of safety against food vergiftende bacteria wooden boards, as it was written plastic, too, scientists at the University of Wisconsin made a surprising discovery:

Intentionally wooden boards contaminated with bacteria such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli were hygienically impeccable after three minutes; up 99.9% of the pathogens were dead. On the comparison boards made of plastic, the micro-organisms were all still viable. You left the contaminated cutting boards at room temperature unwashed overnight, multiplied the bacteria on the plastic boards. On the wooden boards, no micro-organisms were detected in the morning. Overall, the researchers investigated seven types of wood and four plastic types. The results were always similar.
Many is most unpleasant to work with the material wood as a tool in the kitchen.

The reason for this is quickly found: wood should be cleaned in the dishwasher, and therefore the assumption is widespread, that you get properly clean wood after use.
However, as concluded by such an assumption? It is usually so that justifies that it inserts small nicks in the wood surface when cut on a wooden board, then serving for the undisturbed proliferation of bacteria. As a result, it might be an optimum cleanliness with a cloth, nor with an other cleaning item.
This hypothesis is right insofar that wood has no place in a dishwasher and use giving the sharpness of the cutting tool used by wooden boards.
The most wood species, like beech (fagus sylvatica) or oak (Quercus), have naturally certain chemical constituents with an antibacterial effect. If you wipe off the wooden board with a damp cloth, you ensure that these compounds dissolved in the water with this on the surface be distributed and in the scores into flushed. Where these components (mostly tannins) provide for their actual effect on hygienic by kill they contained bacteria and germs. And even in the smallest scores. Because these are close, the capillary effect is greater, that is the pull of the wood compared to liquids.
Thus, so sucks the water with detergent and own chemical constituents of formally in the bottom of the score into the wood and ensures a thorough cleaning is concluded. Also opposed to the widespread opinion that is wood and water not tolerated, it is sufficient entirely, the wooden board finally rinsed and set up to the dry or to hang on a twine, so that it is constantly washed with air.
The principle when dealing with wood and water should always be that it must be able to give the absorbed moisture back to the environment. Since wood absorbs only as much moisture as it needs to reside with the humidity of its surroundings (ambient air) in balance. The same applies to the supply of moisture.
Until it comes to a deformation of the object, if the humidity of the wood a certain level is exceeded and the forces that occur when the sources or shrinkage will be too large.
If you heed this advice, you will enjoy long on your wooden board. No matter for what purpose you use it.
Most recently, it should be mentioned that already since the beginning of the butchers Guild the meat on wooden Hackstöcken (here beech wood) is divided, the first spoons were made of wood because it has proved tasteless and that the chemical components to kill bacteria and germs completely missing a Board made of plastic.
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