Camphor Chopping Boards

Camphor Laurel

There are some questions surrounding the use of Camphor Laurel timber and we’ll do our best to explain all here…but we’ll have to get a bit ‘sciency’

The anti-microbial chemicals found in Camphor Laurel occur naturally and after the wood is kiln dried present no issue in terms of contaminating food. The chemicals: camphor, safrole, cineole, cinnamaldehyde, fatty acids, mannitol, limonene, tannins, terpineol, eugenol, pinene, linalool, and geraniol (3, 4) are chemicals that tend to occur naturally in our food and confectionery.

The chemical that tends to raise the most eyebrows is the safrole but this little component of the wood’s makeup is also found in angelica, sassafras, nutmeg, star anise, cinnamon, cacao and black pepper…many of which you probably have on your spice rack in the pantry! Bay leaves contain cineole & eugenol, you’ll find traces of linalool, pinene & camphor in coriander and good old fashioned peppermint contains pinene & limonene. You see where we’re going with this…what nature has put in the timber she has also put in many of the ingredients we use freely.

And now the piece de resistance of using Camphor Laurel as a food preparation surface – those very anti microbial substances make these boards the most effective food prep surface as they reduce microbial growth. Yes!

For those who love numbers and the science have a look at the table below:

MEAN NUMBERS OF ORGANISMS PER BOARD FROM CUTTING BOARD TESTS.

  Camphor Cedar Glass Plastic
Fungi 3.3 8 5.7 9.7
Bacteria 0.7 1.7 8.0 7.3
TOTAL 4.0 9.7 13.7 17.0

Now….which you would you rather use?