Silicone

Silicone

Silicone moulds are innovative utensils that have recently appeared on the market. Used primarily for preparing cakes, they offer certain advantages: cakes bake more quickly and are easier to remove and the moulds fold back on themselves, taking up less space. Silicone moulds can generally be used at a wide range of temperatures (typically –40°C +250°C) and can be moved from the oven to the freezer.

These pieces can also be used in the microwave. Moulds are produced in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes. The consistency of the mould may, however, constitute a limitation: for example, if the mixture is liquid, it must placed on an oven rack first before filling, given the difficulty of handling the mould once it is full.

However some doubts about silicone moulds persist. In particular, the fear is that silicone may release certain components to mixtures while baking. In 2007, the italian magazine Altroconsumo examined various silicone moulds on the domestic market and subjected them to migration testing to verify their suitability for contact with food. Under the legislation in force in Italy (in truth, no Italian law specifically regulates silicones but a law was adopted for plastics as required by the European resolution on silicones) all samples appeared to be in good standing. However, the test conducted by the magazine revealed that a particularly high amount of substances can migrate from the silicone to the mixture the first time the mould is used. It was also observed that, when washed in the dishwasher, the migration of undesirable substances was reduced.

As a result, consumers are advised to wash moulds in the dishwasher before using them, and even to bake a simple batter of flour, yeast and vegetable oil in the mould the first time it is used, to be discarded once it is baked.

We recommend buying good quality silicone moulds. In particular, it is advisable to use platinum silicone in the food sector because the quality of this type of silicone, obtained using a platinum catalyst, is better and safer than silicone made using a peroxide catalyst, which is preferable for use in different fields such as the industrial sector. Another important aspect is the post heat treatment the product is subjected to at the end of its production cycle: this treatment ensures the elimination of any possible presence of volatile substances to ensure maximum safety for the consumer.


The Resolution of the Council of Europe on the use of silicones in food applications can be downloaded from the following link.

http://www.coe.int/t/e/social_cohesion/soc-sp/public_health/food_contact/PS%20E%20SILICONES%20VERSION%201.pdf


The recommendation of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) on materials intended to come into contact with food, in this case silicones, can be downloaded from the following link.

http://bfr.zadi.de/kse/faces/resources/pdf/150-english.pdf

Guide to the choice of materials for the cooking of food

All the materials mentioned in this guide are regulated by the following laws, directives and guidelines that can be downloaded from the following links of the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and the COE (Council of Europe): downloadable at the following link:

EFSA COE Download the pdf guide