Silicone utensils and bakeware have become increasingly popular recently due to their versatility and fun colors.
Silicone utensils such as spatulas work well with non-stick cookware, while silicone baking pans are popular for their high non-stick quality.
Nonetheless, silicone is a synthetic compound, so you may be wondering if it's really safe enough to use for cooking and baking.
There aren't many studies exploring the possible health hazards of silicone.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers it safe for use in cooking and baking.
Silicone is inert, so you don't have to worry about toxic fumes and chemicals leaking into your food.
Contrary to what many people think, silicon is different from the element silicon (Si), which is typically used to make computer
chips and other electronic device components.
However, silicone does contain silicon atoms as well as other elements such as hydrogen, carbon and oxygen.
People also often mistake silicone for a plastic because of its malleability, water resistance and flexibility.
Unlike plastics made from petrochemicals, silicone comes from silica or quartz sand.
Therefore, the "main component" of silicone is not carbon, but silicon.
How is silicone made?
What is it made of?
First of all, silicon comes from silica, because silicon itself does not exist.
To achieve this, silica (a mineral abundant in sand called quartz) is heated to 1800˚C.
The resulting silicon is cooled and ground until it becomes a fine powder.
Next, chloromethane is added to the fine powder and then heated again to start the chemical reaction that converts the mixture into methylchlorosilane.
The dimethyldichlorosilane is then extracted by distillation.
Water is added to dimethyldichlorosilane to start the condensation process to convert it to polydimethylsiloxane.
From there, it can undergo different processes, depending on the use of the silicone.
Polysiloxane, or rubber silicone as it is commonly known, is the form commonly used in kitchenware.
The FDA considers silicone safe for cooking, and the key is to purchase silicone products made from 100% food-grade silicone with no plastic fillers.
For example, INFULL Cutlery manufactures and sells silicone cookware that is 100 percent food-grade silicone,
which is safe and non-toxic, and will not be harmful to the human body with long-term use.
In addition, for utensils, it doesn't hurt to explore your other options.