We mentioned in a previous entry that there are many types of cutting boards.
Discarding glass boards (which all the experts agree that will dull your knives in no time), we have to choose between wood and plastic types.
Each material has different features, strong points and weak points.
But which chopping board should we use?
Actually, the reason for the “dilemma” is not the variety of the offer but rather the fact that for the most important feature of a cutting board the western world experts do not have a clear winner.
Of course we are talking about HYGIENE and the fact that a cutting board may harbor dangerous patogens such as salmonella and E. coli. and contaminate our food just as we are preparing it?
Are the micro indents left by the knife a potential receptacle of bacteria?
Many studies have been done with controversial results.
It seems that wood cutting boards do not show signs of bacteria after 60 hours of use compared to plastic boards that if not washed become colonies of microorganisms.
The antagonists object that wood is porous and the bacteria may not be present on the surface just because they find a better environment deeper into the wood…
This debate is going on at least since Feb. 6, 1993, when “Science News” published an article on cutting boards. Their point was that the wooden boards could assure better hygiene but could not provide an objective proof.
Today the advocates of wood and plastic are still impugnating old studies and experts opinions.
We are glad we can now solve the dilemma.
Wood is safer than plastic, but not any wood.
Japanese have been used cutting boards made of hinoki wood for centuries and the reason is that the “hinokithyol” natural resin contained in the wood fibers have a high bactericidal property.
Hinoki is a coniferous soft wood, making it the best choice both for the sake of your knife`s blade and for your health as it would actually disinfect food as you are cutting it!
See this entry for a desctition of hinoki essential oil properties
If you are looking for the world`s best cutting board, here it is:
Cutting board – large
sizes: 300x450x t30 mm (12″x18″x1 1/2″)
Cutting board – small
420x210x t30 mm (8 1/4″ x 16 1/2″ x 1 1/2″)
Cutting board – round
sizes: 350diam x t30mm
(13 3/4″ diam x 1 1/2″)