May 01, 2020

When it comes to equipping your food prep area, there are lots of cutting board options

Some important things to consider are water resistance, visual appeal, durability, weight, level of knife scarring, maintenance, and sustainability.
When it comes to preparing food for consumption, it's essential to maintaining a clean environment to prevent cross-contamination. Proper cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting and limiting chemical transfer to food is always a top concern. Knives are replaceable; however, lives are not.

Powerizer is a safe yet effective cleaner and detergent made of plant and mineral-based ingredients that rinses clean with plain water. However, for cleaning your board, all you will need is Powerizer, warm water, a scrub brush, and a microfiber cloth.

Here is why!

Powerizer has a safer choice non-toxic alternative bleach ingredient called Sodium Percarbonate. When mixed with water, it activates to create hydrogen peroxide. The CDC considers it to be a disinfectant. It is a crucial ingredient in Powerizer. 

Depending on the material of your board, first, start with making a concentrated solution or a paste of Powerizer Complete.

Second bring in your best ally, a split fiber ultra-plush microfiber cloth. If the fibers are not split they cloth is really nothing special other than a soft cloth.

A scrub brush is helpful to remove larger debris from your board. However, microfiber cloths are so much better than an ordinary cloth. A fiber can not be named microfiber unless it is one denier or less. Powerizer's Ultra Plush Microfiber Cloths absorb seven times more liquid their weight dry.  Microfiber has been shown to remove up to 98% of bacteria and 93% of viruses from surfaces using microfiber and water in tests published by the EPA.

So after washing with your Powerizer solution or a paste rinse using a damp microfiber cloth and a dish scrubber, if necessary, rinse the board in hot water. Then take a dry microfiber cloth and scrub the board entirely to remove excess residues and any moisture. 

Below is a list of the most common board materials with pros and cons for its use as a cutting board.

 MOST COMMON CUTTING BOARD MATERIALS

Walnut-Is a self-healing, less scaring board than plastic so it’s kinder to knives than a harder board material like Bamboo.  It’s grown abundantly in North America which makes it less popular overseas.
Maple- Is better for preserving your knives.  It’s a softer wood that is abundant and sustainable that is also grown in North America but does require more maintenance. It requires regular applications of edible mineral oil. However, when treated regularly it washes easily in warm soapy water. Usually heavier and thick which is a preference or a downfall. Tend to be top tier price.
Bamboo- is actually a hard grass that is dense and absorbs less liquid than other woods. Making it more water-resistant. It tends to be 19% harder than maple making it more damaging to knives.  It’s a material that is more renewable than wood. And becoming more popular because it has become less expensive.
Teak- is unique because it retains its natural oils even after being processed. It has a tight wood grain and tensile strength, making it more resistant to knife scarring, retains color unless used outdoors, and exposed to daily Ultra Violet rays.  Which is why it is popular for patio furniture and a shower stool.  Teak is harvested from tropical environments, making it harder to get and more expensive.  It contains tectoquinones, components of natural oily resins that repel moisture, fungi, warping, rot, and microbes.
Acacia- is a plentiful wood that is visually beautiful and better for your knives than bamboo. However, it is more costly than bamboo but more affordable than walnut or teak.  Because it is also harvested in many of the same countries as bamboo with over 1300 species it is considered very sustainable. It too is rich with natural oils which naturally more water-resistant. When finished it looks similar to walnut but is a lighter wood however it's usually dyed darker. These trees are harvested at a young age so boards have smaller planks or strips and commonly styled with a checker styled pattern.
Wood Fiberboards- are believed to be the most eco-friendly, because they are using wood scraps and tend to be better for your knives and cutlery than plastic, glass, acacia, teak, and maple. They are dishwasher safe and non-porous making them water-resistant.  Shallow cuts in real wood tend to close up on their own and are naturally anti-septic.  A wood fiberboard is not and must be cleaned with soapy water.
Plastic –can be rinsed with bleach and other disinfectants without damage to the board or retention of the chemicals to later contaminate food, however, they do obtain more knife scarring, which can make them harder to clean and also the possibility that plastic can transfer to food.  Polypropylene – and TPU Surface (Thermoplastic Poly Urethane) plastic boards are the most common.
300 Series Stainless Steelhas many benefits which include being antimicrobial, corrosion-resistant, dishwasher safe, widely used outdoors, the matte finishes hide knife scratches. In addition, they are easy to clean however but are damaging to knives.
Glass-boards are mostly used for rolling out the dough, eliminates the need for wax paper, you can cut through dough more easily.  However, the noise from the board can be irritating, like nails to a chalkboard and the glass surface is damaging to your knives.
Marble-boards share similar benefits to glass.  In addition, they tend to be heavier, more decorative, and are used more by pastry chefs, dough stays cool longer. However, they are also damaging to knives.

 

After cleaning, it's essential to finish your board with an oil that will not go rancid. For wood and bamboo boards, the most recommended finishing oil is edible mineral oil. The process is similar to curing a cast iron pan. It will prevent cracking, seal the wood, and help to preserve the wood so you can use it for many years to come. Here is a list of food-safe edible oils to consider when finishing a wood board.

FINISHING OILS

Tung Oil, also known as China wood oil is a drying oil obtained by pressing the seed from the nut of the tung tree (Vernicia fordii). Tung oil hardens upon exposure to air (through polymerization), and the resulting coating is transparent and has a deep, almost wet look. Used mostly for finishing and protecting wood, after numerous coats, the finish can even look plastic-like.

Linseed oil, also known as flaxseed oil or flax oil, is a colorless to yellowish oil obtained from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). The oil is obtained by pressing, sometimes followed by solvent extraction. Linseed oil is a drying oil, meaning it can polymerize into a solid form.    

Mineral oil is any of various colorless, odorless, light mixtures of higher alkanes from a mineral source, particularly a distillate of petroleum,[1] as distinct from usually edible vegetable oils.

Walnut - woodworkers favor walnut oil as a finish for implements that will come in contact with food, such as wooden bowls, because of its safety. Rancidity is not an issue because walnut oil dries when applied to wood in a thin coating. People who mix oil and wax to formulate wood finish value walnut oil as an ingredient because of the edibility of both ingredients. The oil typically is combined with beeswax in a mixture of 1/3 oil to 2/3 beeswax.

Beeswax has been used since prehistory as the first plastic, as a lubricant and waterproofing agent, in the lost-wax casting of metals and glass, as a polish for wood and leather and for making candles, as an ingredient in cosmetics and as an artistic medium in encaustic painting.  Beeswax is edible, having similar negligible toxicity to plant waxes, and is approved for food use in most countries and in the European Union under the E number E901.

Carnauba wax also called Brazil wax and palm wax, is a wax of the leaves of the palm Copernicia prunifera (Synonym: Copernicia cerifera), a plant native to and grown only in northeastern Brazilian states.  It can produce a glossy finish and as such is used in automobile waxes, shoe polishesdental floss, food products such as sweets, instrument polishes, and floor and furniture waxes and polishes, especially when mixed with beeswax and with turpentine

OTHER CERTIFICATIONS OR DESIGNATIONS 

When buying a plastic board a TPU Surface (Thermoplastic Poly Urethane) seems to the more popular choice for its resistance to oil, grease, and abrasion. However, you may want to make sure it's BPA Free - bisphenol A  and BPF - bisphenol-F free Plastics.   LFGB Certified Products, Europe EU Certified.  Depending on the materials a Dishwasher safe product, scratch-resistant, NSF approved, and made using Formaldehyde Free Glue are some key points to consider as well. 

Powerizer will handle the task of cleaning your microfiber cloths, chopping tools, food storage containers, countertops, and the cutting board surface to further simplify your food preparation activities.  Consider signing up for Powerizer's Subscribe and Save Program and receive 50% off your first purchase and 15% off your future scheduled orders. 



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