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JUstenbois improves the quality of life of people in chemotherapy treatment

“To make the appetite easier, we recommend that people on chemotherapy not eat with metal utensils.”

Customers at trade shows tell us that the most talked about subject in chemotherapy waiting rooms is how it becomes difficult to eat. Among the commonly experienced symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, chemotherapy patients mention a metallic taste in mouth (dysgeusia). Several studies report this phenomenon (1, 2, 3). This is important because it reduces the desire and the pleasure of eating. Now, eating with metal utensils amplifies this phenomenon.

JUstenbois offers a one piece made sugar maple wood utensils. These cutlery are for everyday use. The sugar maple is one of the rare wood essence used in cooking (like olive wood) since it doesn’t craze over in contact with water.

Some question whether the wood is hygienic and whether eating with wooden utensils could be bad for people living with cancer (i.e. with delicate health). Studies on cutting boards have shown that hardwood is safer than plastic (5, 6, 7). (Please refer to the section READ MORE)

JUstenbois offers an interesting alternative to chemotherapy patients to overcome the metallic taste amplified by stainless steel utensils. The importance of continuing eating well allows the convalescent to recover faster.

JUstenbois utensils are made of maple wood in Quebec, according to eco-responsible ​​and zero waste values; they will accompany you, meal after meal, for the next 10 to 15 years. While stainless steel has the disadvantage of oxidizing food flavors, JUstenbois maple wood utensils retain all the flavor of food and give you the pleasure of a good meal prepared with care.

Our products are coated with natural resin: linseed oil, wax, rosemary and lemon extract.
They are guaranteed one year against wood splitting.
Bases of use: They are maintained with hot soapy water,
they are rinsed and recommended to be wiped.



“The metallic taste associated with chemotherapy treatments is magnified by eating with stainless steel utensils.”

A study in the Netherlands mentions that women with breast cancer who were on taxane chemotherapy * reported experiencing dysgeusia. They chose to eat less, ate at irregular hours and / or lost interest in preparing meals for themselves or their families. Thanks to the support provided, they have adopted several new behaviors to deal with this metallic taste: adding spices or very tasty herbs, adding a sweetener or an acid to their food and eating with plastic utensils (4).

“Studies on cutting boards have shown that hardwood is safer than plastic.”

Some question whether the wood is hygienic and whether eating with wooden utensils could be bad for people living with cancer (i.e. with delicate health). Studies on cutting boards have shown that hardwood is safer than plastic (5, 6, 7). In fact, its porous (microscopic), rough surface generates unfavorable conditions for the proliferation of microorganisms (8). In addition, wood has this particular characteristic of producing antimicrobial components capable of inhibiting or limiting the growth of pathogenic fungi and bacteria (7). Phenolic compounds have been found in the leaves and buds of sugar maples, which have pro-oxidant anti-pathogenic activities (9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14). When the bacteria enter the wood matrix, they do not proliferate, but die within hours. (15, 16). The hygroscopic nature of wood, as well as the presence of secondary metabolites (tannins, lignin, flavonoids) directly inhibit the growth of bacteria (17). This phenomenon is called phytotoxicity.

The United States Department of Agriculture (U.S. Department of Agriculture) conducted a study on the contamination of E. coli and Salmonella on plastic and wooden cutting boards. Their study concluded that there was more bacteria left on used plastic planks than on wooden surfaces after washing by hand. Prior to 2013, the USDA’s Food News for Consumers recommended using only plastic boards. Following this study, this organization recommends since 2014 to use wooden cutting boards as well as plastic (18). In France, two associations: «Léo Lagrange» (a consumers protection association) and the «Confédération Syndicale des Familles et Familles Rurales» recommend using 2 boards: one for meat and the other for fruits and vegetables. They recommend washing with dish soap, scrubbing and rinsing with warm water. (8) * *

* Taxanes: http: //

** This reference work summarizes 86 articles written on the subject. The overall message of this review article is that there is no benefit in using plastic versus wood for food safety; if there is a difference, wood is safer than plastic (19, 20). The authors conclude by saying: the wood is suitable for direct contact with food.


  1. IJPMA, I. et al., (2015) Metallic taste in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy, Cancer Treatment Reviews, vol. 41 (2), pp 179-186
  2. SPECK, R.M., et al., (2013) Taste alteration in breast cancer patients treated with taxane chemotherapy: experience, effect, and coping strategies, Suportive care in cancer, Volume 21 (2) pp 549–555.
  3. KALASKAR AR (2014) Management of Chemotherapy Induced Dysgeusia: An Important Step Towards Nutritional Rehabilitation. Int J Phys Med Rehabil 2:198.
  4. Les taxanes : de l’If au patient (ou l’histoire des taxanes), Info Cancer (2015),
  5. HAVLICEK, Lee. (2012) In praise of wooden spoons
  6. SHIPMAN, Matt (2014) Fast facts about cutting boards and food safety in your kitchen,
  7. MILLING, A. et al., (2005) Survival of bacteria on wood and plastic particles:Dependance on wood species and environmental conditions, Holzforschung, 59, pp. 72–81.
  8. AVIAT, F. et al., (2016) Microbial safety of wood in contact with food: A review, Comprehensive reviews in food science and food safety, vol.15.
  9. BARBEHENN, R. et al., (2005) Phenolic Compounds in Red Oak and Sugar Maple Leaves Have Prooxidant Activities in the Midgut Fluids ofMalacosoma disstria and Orgyia leucostigmaCaterpillars, Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol. 31 (5), pp 969-988
  10. TATTAR TA et AE Rich, (1973), Extractable phenols in clear, discolored, and decayed woody tissues and bark of sugar maple and red maple,
  11. BALDWIN, I.T. et al., (1987) Patterns and sources of leaf tannin variation in yellow birch (Betula allegheniensis) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum), Journal of Chemical Ecology, Vol.13 (5), pp1069-1978
  12. YUAN T. et al., (2011), Phenolic Glycosides from Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Bark, Journal of Natural products, 74 (2) pp. 2472-2476.
  13. THAKUR, M. L., (1977) Phenolic growth inhibitors isolated from dormant buds of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh), Journal of Experimental Botany, Volume 28 (4), Pages 795–803.
  14. KERMASHA, S. et al., (1995) Determination of phenolic compound profiles in maple products by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography, Agric. Food Chem., 43 (3), pp 708–716.
  15. PARK, P. K. (1997). Microbiology of food contact surfaces vis-à-vis food safety. D. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  16. ABRISHAMI, S. I. et al. (1994). Bacterial adherence and viability on cutting board surfaces. Food Safety 14 pp.153–172.
  17. SCHÖNWÄLDER, A. et al. (2002). Wooden boards affecting the survival of bacteria? Holz Roh Werkst 60(4):249–57.
  18. CLIVER, D.O. (2005) Wood vs plastic cutting boards,
  19. CARPENTER, B. (1997). Sanitary quality of meat chopping board surfaces: a bibliographical study. Food Microbiol. 14:31–37.
  20. GILBERT, R. J., and H. M. Watson. Some laboratory experiments on various meat preparation surfaces with regard to surface contamination and cleaning. J. Food Technol. 6:163–170.


JUstenbois makes the difference is often referred to use those in default of plastic do not know our products. Plastics are recognized n’êtres not totally neutral, and their small size makes it difficult grasping food already not easy in a state of weakness.

There are many possible causes for a metallic taste in your mouth, including medication, … Society, certain types of chemotherapy and radiation can cause a metallic taste. … Using nometallic dishes, utensils, and cookware.

Some people find that during chemotherapy their taste changes. … Avoid cooking in metallic containers and use plastic or wooden utensils.

“… vous pourriez ainsi vous débarrasser de goûts désagréables qui … Atténuer le goût métallique. … une coutellerie en plastique et des marmites en verre …”   www.Changements du goût – Société Canadienne du Cancer


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