Healthy foods rely on many factors. Apart from the food itself, the equipment used to process it has a big influence on whether the food remains healthy or vice versa.
Eating healthy food should make the body healthy, but you may get the opposite if the kitchen utensils do not reflect these conditions. Iron cookware is dangerous because of the possibility of rust, while plastic cookware is dangerous because of its content.
Silicone utensils are better than cookware made of plastic or iron. Silicone is not only flexible to use, but quite strong. Though, it’s silicone cookware safe?
In short, silicone is a synthetic rubber combined with oxygen and carbon. Although these compounds are commonly found in nature, most silicone cookware is mixed with different chemical compositions. This is what makes endless discussion regarding the safety of silicone cookware.
Current cookware is designed to withstand heat, up to 260 C. The latest cookware designs are generally made with silica gel which is safe when contacting with food.
Regardless of the material, silicone often emits a strong odor. No need to worry because today's silicone is designed for food grade. Rubber and silica gel are both elastic and strong, but silica is superior for high frequency.
Though, silicon cannot be decomposed and recycled. That's why, silicone cookware seems to stand on two different sides. Silicone offers better durability than wood, and is healthier than plastic and metal.
On the other hand, silicone is not a material that can be easily recycled so it will become waste when it reaches the end of its life cycle.
For storage, silicone cookware must be dried first, or it will deform and change in color. Since silicone is a rubber, the surface does not sticky when touched. Simply put, silicone cooking utensils offer many advantages, but they also have some disadvantages.
Silicone is a safe material. This is proved by the use of silicone as implants to enhance certain body parts. So, its application as a cooking utensil is to be safe because it is heat resistant, strong, and easy to clean.
As already mentioned, silicone cookware can withstand hot temperatures of 260 C and does not melt easily. That's why silicone cookware is available in various forms such as spatulas, cake molds, spoons, and others.
Not only in hot temperatures, silicone utensils can withstand extreme cold temperatures. This is the big difference between iron, plastic, and wood.
Iron for example, this material is categorized as a conductor which may conduct heat or cold, while plastic is not heat-resistant and prone to fracture when exposed to cold temperatures.
The flexibility of silicone not only makes it easy to use, but also easy to clean. Sometimes it just needs to be watered without soap. The flexibility of silicone makes it superior because it can bend during washing.
Take the example of a plastic cake mold. Due to its rigid shape, dirt may stuck in between which is difficult to clean.
Silicone is a stain-resistant material and does not retain odors after being used to cook foods with strong odors. Especially when it is used to cook sticky wet food, silicone cookware is the best solution.
The silica gel material prevents the silicone surface from sticking, which is commonly encountered when cooking wet food with plastic or metal cookware. Silicone is a material with non-porous characteristics.
It does not retain odors, tastes, and colors so it does not support the development of pathogens. Compared to wood for example, this product is very porous and can be a place for bacteria and microbes to grow.
The best silicone cookware will not be easily scratched, broken, and is likely to reach decades of use. The rubber material makes it flexible and does not damage. The strong structure makes it useful for whisking cake batter or eggs, also when stirring the spices in the frying pan.
All cooking utensils must have their own weaknesses, be it iron, plastic, or ceramic. With silicone cookware, it doesn't mean that silicone cookware isn't worth buying, you just need to find the best.
In fact, not all silicone is made with the best materials for food-grade category. Although rubber and silica gel are not rare materials, some manufacturers often combine plastic materials containing BPA as a mixture.
Plastic is a hazardous material when in contact with food and cannot withstand hot temperatures. A number of chemical compositions will be released and contaminate the food.
Silicone is not a material that is easily recycled so it is less friendly to the environment. This is the main weakness of silicone-based products compared to other materials. Although silicon is a non-biodegradable material, it can be reused by changing its shape or function into other tools.
However, even if you want to recycle it, special facilities are needed to process it into other products. This means that silicone utensils cannot be recycled independently for a home scale.