The aluminium levels found Steam buns, egg waffles and other baked goods could also lead to kidney damage

The aluminum levels found in Hong Kong snacks could lead to kidney disease and can affect children’s development according to the Centre for Food Safety.

Aluminum is found in additives including raising agents, firming agents and colours – all of which are key components to a number of Hong Kong snacks.

Dr Samuel Yeung Tze-kiu, the centre’s principal medical officer, said: “We would like the food industry to beware of the level of aluminium in the food additives and see if there can be other replacements.”

The study suggested that aluminium intake mainly comes from steamed buns, bread and other bakery products.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the tolerable weekly intake of aluminium for adults is 2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight and the level for children is even lower. The average level for Hongkongers was 0.49 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

The Centre for Food Safety took 309 food samples from May to July last year and found that jelly fish, a cold dish served as a starter in Chiense restaurants, had the highest aluminium content.

Other Cantonese snacks such as egg waffles and Ma Lai cakes also contain high levels of aluminium. Eating 2-3 cakes per week would exceed the tolerable level as advised by the WHO.


Due to Hongkongers high consumption of these snacks, adverse health risks are of serious concern. Yeung advised that people should limit their intake. “They should maintain a balanced diet,” Yeung advised.