Is silicone bakeware dangerous? In 2006, a lawsuit was filed against the DuPont Co., claiming that its Teflon bakeware and cookware released hazardous fumes when heated. Ever since then, consumers have been seeking safer alternatives. Silicon bakeware shares the same non-stick properties as Teflon, but is it any safer than its counterpart?
What Is Silicone?
Silicone is a type of inorganic polymer. It is made up of silica, a common mineral that often occurs as sand, and other ingredients. Silicone can come in liquid and solid forms. Because of the solid form's pliability, durability and heat resistance, it has found many uses in modern society. Silicone's properties lend themselves especially well to spatulas and bakeware.
Is It Safe?
Silicone is perfectly safe. In fact, pure silicone is considered so safe that it is used for breast implants in the human body. However, fillers can compromise the quality of silicone bakeware since they lower the quality of the product and make it susceptible to heat and wear from long-term use.
Some would believe that silicone can react with or leach chemicals into food, but this isn't so. Silicone is a chemically stable and inert material, according to its materials safety and data sheet. So this means it is unlikely to make any food unsafe to eat. It is also believed that silicone can break down in extreme heat, but this also isn't so. Silicone is a recyclable material, although it is not biodegradable.
Other Cooking and Food Applications
It is worth nothing that silicone is used in parchment paper in order to give it its non-stick and heat-resistant properties. Parchment paper is often used to mass produce baked goods, since it eliminates the need to grease the baking pan. In addition, silicone resin is used to create ceramic-like dishes that are actually less brittle than the real thing.
Silicone bakeware is heat resistant and will cool faster than a traditional metal pan. However you should still use oven gloves or pot holders when removing the pan from the oven. Silicone bakeware isn't cut resistant, so remove your baked goods from the pan before cutting them.
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