The Ideal Food Handling Glove
Search for “best glove for handing food,” and you’ll get millions of hits. Celebrity chefs endorse their favorite brands. Convincing features will be splashed across web pages with attention-getting graphics.
But what qualities make the ideal food handling disposable glove?
The purpose of wearing disposable gloves during food prep and handling is to prevent cross-contamination.
So it’s evident the first property of the glove material is that it doesn’t transmit toxins to the user or the food they contact. Second, that material should be inert (not contain or produce toxins). Third would be the ability to easily move and feel, with sensitivity, what’s being handled. And finally, there’s fit and comfort.
The ideal disposable glove would then be a strong, flexible material with a seal that faithfully resists penetration, lets you feel what you’re working on, and is comfortable to wear.
Most of the information out there suggests there are three types, latex, vinyl, and nitrile.
What are these?
Latex is natural rubber. It’s pretty tough but has proteins that can cause allergic reactions, not just to the wearer. The proteins from these gloves can leach into food.
Nitrile is synthetic rubber that is prone to easy tearing despite its added thickness. Vinyl has been shown in tests to leach chemicals into food. Nitrile has a limited list of chemicals it can be exposed to.
Vinyl has been shown in tests to leach chemicals into food. Its use for food prep was banned in Japan because of this. They are also particularly susceptible to pinholes (microscopic holes in the material) when stretched. Tests reveal the failure rate for vinyl gloves range from 12 – 61%. And they are made with toxic chemicals that will never leave the environment.
However, there are two more kinds of disposable gloves. One is the baggy, oversized non-stretch type you see worn behind the counter at a Subway or most any fast food restaurant. They’ve been around for years. They are prone to leaks and slide all over your hands.
Last of all, there is a glove that outperforms the others.
After years of working in disposable gloves, a professional, after coping with the loose-fitting plastic, latex, nitrile, and vinyl liabilities, decided to design an ideal glove. It’s called the Protospheric Stretch-Poly Disposable Glove.
This stretch-poly glove is thinner than nitrile but stronger. In independent lab tests, this glove proved to be ten times more resistant to tearing than nitrile, despite being comfortably thinner.
They don’t weaken when stretched like vinyl. The inert material won’t cause allergic reactions like latex or leach chemicals into food. And they won’t feel like a couple of sandwich bags on your hands.
Because it’s thinner, the touch and feel when handling kitchen tools and ingredients are not significantly reduced.
Stretch-Poly gloves are also more resistant to common chemicals that can degrade or dissolve the other three types.
They fit securely. Users report they are comfortable to wear.
And finally, poly gloves are much less costly to produce – reducing your cost for better protection.