by Danielle Masterson
A Reader Writes The Green Guide:
Regarding heating plastics and possible leaching of chemicals: Are silicone baking forms safe?Michelle Robinson
The Green Guide Responds:
Silicone bakeware is bright and flashy. With an amusing rubbery texture it can be a fun addition to any baking tradition. However, it is understandable you are concerned about "non-stick" bakeware in light of recent studies on carcinogenic chemicals in Teflon (see "Airborne Toxins"). With very little written on the subject, it can also be hard to determine the safety of the product.
Silicone bakeware is relatively new on the U.S. market. However, it has been used for years in Europe and by professional bakers. Silicone bakeware is made of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved food-grade silicone. According to the FDA, silicone pans and molds are appropriate for all foods. Although the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has not tested silicone bakeware, their toxicologist suggests that it is safe for use.
Praised for its flexibility and non-stick surface, the versatile molds and pans can be used in the oven, freezer and microwave. The temperature range to which silicone bakeware can be subjected varies among manufacturer accounts. Silicone melts at 930º F depending on the presence of fillers. Most companies claim silicone bakeware can sustain temperatures up to 500º F. The most conservative estimates suggest the full temperature range of silicone bakeware to be -50º F to 428º F.
There are a few pitfalls of using silicone bakeware. The molds and pans are extremely flexible when heated; therefore, a metal baking sheet should be used to support the bakeware. Additionally, although part of the appeal of silicone bakeware is its "non-stick" surface many companies suggest that the molds and pans should be coated with oil, butter or flour as per the recipe. Users of silicone baking mats that include fiberglass have also complained of the silicone peeling off.
Don't fret if silicone bakeware isn't for you. There are a number of "non-stick" alternatives on the market to fit your needs. The EWG suggests ceramic, titanium and porcelain-enameled cast iron, which are dishwasher safe and durable. Stoneware made from lead-free clay is also an option.
Silicon Bakeware Information Posted By : Blueshoots.com
Orignal Source :http://www.thegreenguide.com/