We first wrote this guide back in 2010, but oh – how things have changed! Consumer demand for BPA-free products caused many well-meaning kitchen appliance manufacturers to respond by switching plastics. While we appreciate their effort, we're not totally convinced it was a move for the better in some cases…
Let's get right to the part where we tell you about our findings – as well as the reasoning behind our recommendations – so you can make more informed decisions when choosing safer kitchen appliances!
How to Choose Safer Kitchen Appliances
Based on years of monitoring the latest research on endocrine disruptors in some plastics, we're choosing to recommend kitchen appliances made from glass, stainless steel and/or plastics with a longstanding track record, such as polypropylene, SAN and ABS. We're continuing to shy away from newer plastics like Tritan for two reasons: 1) we still don't know what it's actually made from and, 2) there have been some unsettling studies showing estrogenic activity that still haven't been followed up on by an independent third party, leaving us with a notable red flag. We're looking forward to the day when we'll have more concrete answers about it.
According to Mother Jones: The 200-plus samples of Tritan resins that were tested consistently leached estrogen-like chemicals after being exposed to a type of ultraviolet ray found in sunlight (UVA) and another kind that some parents use to sterilize baby bottles (UVC). In some cases, samples that hadn’t even been exposed to UV light also seeped estrogenic compounds.
After a long and arduous process of contacting the makers of blenders, choppers, mixers and mills, we've been able to confirm with that the following kitchen appliances are free of the following problematic chemicals on all food-contact surfaces:
- BPS (will it turn out to be the new substitute for BPA?)
- BPA (polycarbonate)
- PVC (vinyl – sometimes found in flexible blender lids)
- Phthalates (added to PVC for increased flexibility)
Keep in mind when looking at the product listings that not all products are specifically marked as free of BPS, BPA, PVC or phthalates on their packaging or website. We spent weeks chasing down this information, so you won't find it clearly labeled because current regulations don't require it.
NOTE: We're also including a list of companies who had absolutely NO IDEA what their products were made from, so please see that list at the bottom of this guide and be sure to let them know you're not happy about it!
Mixers and Food Processors
Baby Food Makers
Products We Can't Recommend
Vitamix blender containers are made of Tritan copolyester, but it's possible to purchase a stainless steel container that fits the mixer, like this one from Waring (quite pricey though). You might take a minute to sign this petition asking Vitamix to bring back their stainless steel pitchers.
- All Cuisinart food processors (Tritan and/or polycarbonate)
- Bellini Kitchen Master (stainless steel/polypropylene/polycarbonate)
- All Hamilton Beach food processors (Tritan)
- All DeLonghi food processors (Tritan)
- Most Robot Coupe food processors (polycarbonate/BPA)
- NutriBullet (Tritan)
- Ninja (Tritan; we asked if they'd consider creating a glass cup, but they said it's not in the plans)
- KitchenAid Torrent Blender (polycarbonate)
We were unable to confirm materials with manufacturers of any other plastic blenders, so we recommend sticking with glass options for now even though the lids seem to be made from toxic PVC plastic.
Companies That Provided No Information (Grrrr!)
- Big Boss Torpedo
- Proctor Silex