Silicone - Unique qualities and abilities
What is Silicone?
Silicon(Si) is the 14th element on the periodic table and the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust, following oxygen.
Silicone, on the other hand, is a synthetic polymer made up of silicon, oxygen, and other elements most typically carbon and hydrogen.
Silicone is produced in many forms including oils, resins, liquid and solid rubbers and hence they have many uses in a variety of industries and consumer products from electronics, automobile, transportation and architectural industries to chemicals, cosmetics, textiles, health care and personal care products. Silicone is indispensable and plays a significant role in the development of modern society.
In recent years, silicone kitchen tools and cooking utensils were introduced into the market because of the versatile characteristics and features that silicone has to offer. Other counterparts such as metal, plastic, rubber or wood cannot compete.
What Makes Silicone Products Different?
As you see most of the silicone products come in bright colors, but silicone is naturally transparent and can be colored as desired from translucent to opaque. This makes silicone products more attractive to people of all ages.
Aside from that, let’s consider their unique qualities in food grade silicone.
- Low toxicity
Food grade silicone is a non-toxic type of silicone that doesn’t contain any chemical fillers or byproducts, making it safe for use with food. It is inert and does not react with food or beverages or produce any hazardous fumes. It will not leach into food or harm your food in any way.
Silicone has non-porous features and also has the ability to repel water and form watertight seals. Therefore, it helps to inhibit bacteria, mold and germs and doesn’t support microbiological growth like wooden tools do. It is also biocompatible and hypoallergenic, which makes it suitable for baby care products, too.
- Thermal stability
Silicone can withstand extreme temperatures from -100 to 250℃ while maintaining its useful properties. It can go from the freezer to the oven. If you are using silicone utensils, you don’t need to worry that it will melt when you accidentally touch hot pots and pans or dip it in very hot oil.
Silicone is almost impossible to get anything on the surface. Because of this excellent non-stick capability, it is often used in bakeware and utensils. Silicone molds are really useful when you bake cakes and muffins or make cold dessert like jellies and chocolates. Stubborn burnt food and sticky dirt do not adhere to it, so it is easy to clean.
Silicone is an elastomer which is rubber like material. This makes utensils very user friendly when you are dealing with coated or non-stick cookware. It is impossible to scratch or damage the surfaces. This flexibility makes its spatula useful in scraping clean the last bit of cake batter or cream off the mixing bowls.
Despite being lightweight, silicone is durable and sturdy material that can last for a long time. Silicone kitchen products can be used repeatedly without worrying about damaging, fading or wearing. They won’t chip or break even if you accidentally drop them onto a hard kitchen floor.
They are arguably more environmentally friendly than other materials like plastic because you can dramatically reduce the amount of trash and move toward waste free living by using silicone products.
If you have damaged them after the long-time use, there are still some ways of reusing them without throwing away. Just cut them into whatever size you want to use them as pot stands, pot holders, oven mitts or jar grips. They can also be recycled easily where facilities exist.
Is Using Silicone Products A Good Idea?
Silicone is not biodegradable but using food grade silicone products can be a good option because of their durability and stability. You can definitely keep away from plastics and reduce throw away trash ending up in landfill or in the ocean as long as you cherish and maintain them to ensure they have long lifespans.
With love and imagination, silicone products can be recycled, reused and reinvented leading to positive environmental change.