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These days, stocking up on and eating canned food to reduce grocery shopping trips is tempting but reports have found possibly BPA can be an issue with eating certain levels of those foods [1]. Aside from if you believe BPA is possibly harmful or not, can cooking food (e.g., from a can) in a non-BPA container help destroy any BPA in the food? If so, what level and type of cooking may be needed, boiling in water on the stove or simply the standard microwave directions on cans?

Reference: [1] https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a19993318/canned-food-safety/

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    you would want to heat the food hot enough to boil away the BPA: 360°C/680°F. Most food won't be very good after such high heat. – dandavis May 28 at 19:57
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I found some publications about the decomposition of Bisphenols A and E in high-temperature water (BPA: https://doi.org/10.1039/B313509H, BPE: https://doi.org/10.1021/ie060888l). But "high temperature" in their context means 250°C - 300°C (at correspondingly high pressures), while at lower temperatures the reaction rate was practically zero.

Since the reactions described rely on water, dry heating is probably even less successful (and besides, most foods contain water anyway). And I would at least not take it for granted that the decomposition products in either case are less harmful than BPA itself.

So, for household purposes, the answer is clear: No, heating food is not a viable option to destroy BPA.

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  • Matthias Brandl, thanks for your in-depth investigation here. I found that water typically boils at around 100°C so reaching 250°C - 300°C may be challenging with conventional equip. Water above 100°C is superheated water and changes its physical properties. In theory, one could put food from a can into a container with extra water, vent for stream, and cover protecting splatters, then put it into an oven at 250°C for 30min (loosely based on a quick look at B313509H), and maybe it would synthesize IPP from BPA. The safety, practicality, and quality of that cooking might however be issues. – CompNeuroDev May 28 at 17:13
  • The water in your container will not reach a temperature over 100°C, because water boils at 100°C at sea level pressure (not considering superheating the water since with all the nucleation points in typical food this will likely not happen anyway, and it can be massively dangerous if it happens). The air in your oven will be hotter, but that will only transfer more heat to the water, thus boiling it off faster (all the energy transferred to the water will go into its evaporation). To heat water to such temperatures, you really need high pressures: About 40 bar for 250°C, 86 bar for 300°C. – Matthias Brandl May 29 at 9:06

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