What Type of Chopping Board is Best for Your Kitchen?

Different people have differing views about which type of chopping board is best. Some swear by their ancient plastic board whilst others believe that investing in trendy bamboo is the future. The traditional wooden chopping board is also favoured by some, so which should you choose for environmental friendliness, hygiene and the longevity of your knives?

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Plastic

It is widely believed that the most hygienic chopping boards are made from plastic. They do have the advantage of being dishwasher safe and are popular because they can be wiped clean, but recent research has revealed that used plastic boards harbour more bacteria than used wooden boards. According to The Daily Mail, a University of Wisconsin study found that when wooden cutting boards were left overnight bacteria, including salmonella, failed to survive whilst bacteria on a plastic board left overnight multiplied.

Bamboo

Bamboo is often regarded as “greener” than other materials since it is quick to grow, renewable, sustainable and no chemicals are used in its production. Less fluid is absorbed by bamboo boards than by wooden boards so they are regarded as at least as hygienic as the traditional wood. However, because bamboo is so hard (around 19 per cent harder than maple) it tends to blunt knives more quickly. In a professional kitchen this can slow down production quite markedly. It also tends to be harder to maintain a smooth cutting action on a bamboo board. If you do opt for bamboo it is important to ensure it is manufactured using formaldehyde-free glue.

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Wood

Like bamboo, wood is renewable although it takes much longer to grow. Many wooden chopping boards, however, are manufactured using wood that is left over from other processes, so they are environmentally sound. If you are investing in quality equipment such as a commercial freezer from a supplier such as www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk, it makes sense to also invest in good beech or maple chopping boards that scar less easily than plastic, and have some self healing properties.

In addition to being more hygienic than plastic chopping boards, wooden boards are also kinder to your knives and will last for years if they are well cared for. They should be oiled regularly with a food grade mineral oil to prevent warping and staining. Wooden boards should never be cleaned in the dishwasher.