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While aluminum is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and is naturally present in the environment, its incorporation into our diet has raised eyebrows due to potential health concerns. It’s worth noting that many foods and food products contain this metal either due to its natural presence or because of its use in food additives and packaging.

Here are seven common foods and food-related items that often contain aluminum:


The crispiness of many pickles is often maintained using alum (potassium aluminum sulfate). Alum may be used in some pickling recipes to ensure the vegetables stay crunchy.

Processed Cheese Slices:

As mentioned previously, certain processed cheeses, especially individual slices wrapped in plastic, may contain aluminum salts as emulsifying agents.

Muffins and Pancakes:

Commercially produced muffins and pancakes often contain baking powder, which, if not aluminum-free, can introduce aluminum into these foods.

For a pancake mix with no aluminum – click here.

For a muffin mix with no aluminum – click here.

Self-rising Flour:

This type of flour contains baking powder, which might contain aluminum compounds unless it’s labeled aluminum-free.

For a self-rising flour without aluminum – click here.


Spinach naturally takes up aluminum from the soil. Consuming it in moderation is okay, but if you eat large amounts of spinach regularly, you might be ingesting more aluminum.

Colorful Candies:

Specific candies, especially brightly colored ones like some gummy candies and candy-coated chocolates, might contain artificial food colorings that have aluminum as a component.

For a healthier alternative click here, here or here.

Soy-Based Infant Formulas:

While not a “food” in the traditional sense, it’s worth noting that some soy-based infant formulas have been reported to have higher levels of aluminum compared to other types.

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Table Salt and Seasonings:

Anti-caking agents are added to many table salts to prevent clumping. Some of these agents, like sodium aluminosilicate or potassium alum, contain aluminum.

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When considering the presence of aluminum in foods, it’s crucial to remember that the dose makes the poison. The trace amounts present in many foods are typically not harmful, but it’s always wise to be informed and make dietary choices accordingly. If you’re concerned about aluminum or any other metals in your diet, it’s advisable to consult with a nutritionist or healthcare provider.