Many kitchen utensils are made from food-grade silicone, but what do we know about their safety? Let’s find out what are the tips to follow to reduce the risks.
By now food-grade silicone is a material that is widely used in the kitchen , especially for the production of utensils used for the preparation of delicious desserts … and those who suffer from addiction to sweets know it well! Among the most popular products, composed of food-grade silicone, there are certainly oven molds.
For ease of use and for its many functions, they are commonly used in place of aluminum or paper molds , which are disposable. The main doubt about the use of silicone in the kitchen concerns its safety. Let’s find out more!
Food grade silicone: is it safe?
In 2007 Altroconsumo carried out a test on a sample of 19 silicone baking molds, to verify the migration of substances passed from the material to the food and any weight loss of the mold itself, following heating to 200 ° C. The results revealed some weaknesses of using food-grade silicone.
With regard to the first test, Altroconsumo verified that 16 molds of the 19 analyzed had given off material to the dough during the first firing. To obtain the full “promotion” of all the tools used for the test it was necessary to reach the third firing. On the other hand, only 3 molds were tested for weight that did not reach their suitability.
Silicone molds today
Compared to the study carried out in 2007, the guarantees on the safety of silicone molds have increased considerably and, although the international regulations to be respected are very accurate, many production companies that use quality products have introduced a new step before the sale of the kitchen accessory.
It seems that each mold is subjected to a prolonged heat treatment at high temperature to ensure that any volatile substance that could contaminate food is eliminated before being put on sale .
How to choose a safe silicone mold
From the results of the tests, it emerges the importance of taking some small precautions for the purchase and use of a silicone mold. There are some precautions to know to be sure that you have purchased suitable molds, which do not release substances and are perfect for cooking:
– First of all you must always check the origin of the mold and make sure that it is CE marked which ensures compliance with European legislation.
– For these accessories it is good not to skimp on quality , possibly buy products in platinum silicone. Do not be satisfied and choose molds of authoritative brands and, in case of doubts, always ask the seller.
– Test the material: if deforming it with your hands for a few minutes you create cracks on the product or you notice variations in color, it is an indication of poor quality and, for this reason, we advise you not to use it.
How to use silicone molds
Before use in the kitchen, a thorough washing in the dishwasher is recommended. This step significantly reduces the risk of migration of substances from silicone to food. As an extra precaution, you could do a test cooking , using a dough to throw away.
For the maintenance of silicone molds, it is important to avoid contact with aggressive substances (such as some particular detergents) and with blades and pointed objects. If the tool has cuts or stains on its surface, you should consider changing it. Remember that silicone cannot be given as recyclable waste, but must be delivered to the appropriate equipped ecological islands .
Composition of food silicone
Silicone is a compound of inorganic polymers and, based on its production process, it is distinguished into platinum and peroxide. The first, of much higher quality, is also used in the medical field. If chosen to produce kitchen utensils, it offers many more guarantees than the less valuable silicone peroxide.
The latter is in fact much less resistant to high temperatures , risking not only to be damaged once 220/230 ° C is exceeded, but also to yield some components to the dough during cooking. And as we have seen, this is precisely the greatest concern regarding the safety of food silicone.