Bavaria’s famous pretzels might be carrying a bit too much metal, according to one consumer watchdog group that says one in five pretzels in Bavaria contains dangerous levels of aluminum.
According to The Local, the Bavarian Consumers Center is pushing to have bakers stop using aluminum pans to make their pretzels out of concerns for metal levels in the snacks. Bavarian pretzels are allowed a maximum of 10 milligrams of aluminum per kilogram of pretzels, but the BCC says they often test at much higher levels than that.
“Pretzels often contain too much aluminum,” said the BCC’s Daniel Krehl. The state health and food office has recorded aluminum levels of 156 milligrams per kilogram, which is more than 15 times over the legal limit.
The problem apparently occurs when the pretzels are sprayed with alkaline sodium lye, which gives them their signature shiny, golden crust. When the lye is sprayed over pretzels on an aluminum tray, it breaks up metal particles which then can go into the bread.
To combat the problem, the BCC is urging bakers to stop using aluminum trays for pretzels.