Wood in contact with food

Species of wood


There is a wide range of wood species and the most commonly used are from continental origin: poplar, pine, spruce, beech, ash, oak, etc. 


French law has a regulation in 1945, updated in 1980, which includes a positive list of timber species suitable for food contact. Most is hardwood (no conifers), except pine, which was also included as it is used extensively without danger.  


The following woods are accepted for contact with all food types: birch, fir, Douglas fir, acacia, poplar, alder, aspen, hornbeam, chestnut, ash, olive trees, maritime pine, Scots pine, bananas (sycamore), and oak. Solid foods are restricted to the poplar, beech, walnut and elm.  


There is lack of references to the authorization of resinous and tropical woods. Not withstanding the use of properly cured softwood without health problems for years. Fruit and vegetable pallet boxes or tables to cure cheese are good examples. 


In the Nordic countries pine and spruce are traditionally used in contact with fish, meat and dairy products, and Denmark has produced most of ice cream popsicles or sticks that we have used.  


In the United States wooden and kitchen utensils are manufactured with coconut, cherry, mahogany, poplar, walnut, teak, maple, oak, mulberry, pear, elm, apple, yew, etc.. And cutting boards with ash, balsa, basswood, beech, birch, walnut, maple, etc.  


Fir, willow, beech or birch with basswood and alder, in good condition, is considered  adequate even for fatty foods. In this case it is important to use dry wood.