What is silicone food-grade?

Food-grade silicone is composed of platinum silicone, which satisfies FDA and EU regulations on food contact and safety.  These essential ingredients are mixed with carbon to generate raw silicone. The silicone is then heated to a cure temperature and compressed, forming firm, non-toxic, and adaptable pieces.

While mason jars and other glass containers are great for plastic-free storage, they can break, take up a lot of space, and are inconvenient for taking on the go. Keeping food away from plastic while storing it at home or on the go is made simple using silicone bags.

Benefits of silicone food-grade:

  • Extremely resilient to deterioration and damage from high temperatures.
  • It won’t harden, crack, peel, crumble, dry out, rot, or become brittle if cared for properly.
  • Lightweight, saves space, and easy to transport.
  • Food safe and odorless — contains no BPA, latex, lead, or phthalates.

What Is BPA And Why Should I Worry About It?

You may wonder what BPA stands for. Short for Bisphenol-A, BPA is an industrial-grade chemical used to produce plastics and various resins since the dawn of the plastic industry boom in the 1950s. One of its most significant dangers to consumers lies in packaging, namely the BPA in plastic water bottles and a variety of food containers, such as the linings of metal cans. This BPA can seep into the food and beverages inside the packaging. And the science on this is settled: BPA is harmful.

BPA (bisphenol-a) is found in polycarbonate plastics, which are hard, clear (or clear-tinted), unbreakable plastics. They’ve been used since the 1960s to make products like water bottles, food-storage containers, drinking glasses, pitchers, baby bottles, and sippy cups.

BPA studies stretching back decades have shown that BPA is linked to pregnancy loss and can hurt developing fetuses, responsible for different placental diseases affecting the prostate glands and brains of unborn children. After birth, the problems continue with a range of behavioral issues attributed to BPA. These include hyperactivity, depression, aggression, and higher-than-normal levels of anxiety. Research has also suggested links between BPA and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure in adults.

BPA exposure possibly can affect the brain, the prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children, and it might increase blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. The same article does state, however, that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing shows BPA to be safe at the low levels sometimes found in foods.

What Is BPA (Bisphenol-A) Getting Replaced With?

As evidence of the dangers of BPA has become more apparent over the past decade, some manufacturers have moved to substitute BPA with BPS: Bisphenol S. But this close cousin of BPA may be even worse! Studies on BPS have shown that it can have serious detrimental effects on human health and may be linked to obesity issues, reproductive defects, and even cancer.   

Now that you understand the true BPA-free meaning, the wise choice is to steer clear of Bisphenol-A; BPA is best left in the past. Instead, look to the future of silicone products and silicone molds.

What is Food Grade Silicone made up of?

Food grade silicone is a versatile and robust man-made synthetic polymer, made up primarily of non-toxic silica.

Known for its unique features, food-grade silicone is resistant to extreme temperatures, stresses, and environments. It is commonly used for a wide range of purposes within the food and beverage sector, replacing more traditional options such as rubber.

Compliancy signifies that the material is safe for direct contact with food, making food grade silicone an ideal tool to be used within the manufacturing, packing, packaging, transport or holding of food.

There are several key factors that have established food grade silicone as a leading material for use within the food manufacturing and processing industry, and paved the way for its use in food applications.

Why is Silicone used in food applications?

The highly versatile, flexible, and durable nature of food grade silicone provides the perfect basis for a material suitable for a multitude of applications within the food industry.

Silicone rubber has a number of sought-after properties including:

  • It is resistant to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. It can withstand anywhere between -60°C (-80 °F) and up to 230°C (450 °F) without losing its shape or durability.
  • It is resistant to liquids, food oils, and most chemicals, preventing leakage or contamination.
  • Its antifungal and non-stick properties also reduce the chance of contamination and prevent mold or fungal decay.
  • Its flexible nature means it can be extruded and molded to provide custom sealing profiles across various food applications.
  • It’s free of harmful fillers such as BPS and BPA, making it non-toxic and contributing to its food-safe status.
  • The durable nature of silicone enables its resistance to environmental and external elements such as aging, weathering, and ozonation, even under strenuous working conditions.
  • It degrades slower than other organic elastomers, meaning FDA food-grade silicone generally has a longer lifespan.
  • Its food-grade status also allows silicone rubber to prevent discoloration, odor, or other unwanted changes that may make a product unfit for consumption.

It’s important to note that not all silicone is safe for use within the food industry. However, once approved by the FDA, the properties of food grade silicone make it a safe and non-toxic member of the silicone family, ideal for use in food and beverage applications.

Did you know that Food Grade Silicone is:

  • Highly resistant to degradation from extreme temperatures and can withstand heating and freezing without leaching off hazardous chemicals.
  • BPA Free therefore is safe for food.
  • Stable, Durable and Flexible.
  • Hypo allergenic, odors and stain resistant.
  • Easy to clean with its smooth and soft surface.
  • Does not break, peel or rot, making it the perfect material for eco-friendly products.
  • Lightweight, easy and space saving therefore can take everywhere.
  • More durable than plastic and better for the environment.
  • A good material for products requiring airtight or water tight features.

Many authorities, researchers and experts consider it to be safe for food and drink. According to Health Canada, “There are no known health hazards associated with use of silicone cookware. Silicone rubber does not react with food or beverages, or produce any hazardous fumes.” The uncertainty and questions are still present; therefore, you still need to keep a close eye on them.

Food Grade Silicone applications

FDA food grade silicone is used for a wide number of purposes within the food sector, including:

  • Gaskets for food processing machinery
  • Food transfer tubing
  • Dairy tubing and fluid handling
  • Vending tubing
  • Brewery tubing and seals
  • Antimicrobial belting
  • Commercial oven seals
  • Coffee machine tubing=
  • Food grade beverage gaskets
  • O-rings
  • Vibration pads
  • Electrical insulators

To be considered FDA food grade, silicone must adhere to FDA regulations, allowing it to be a suitable material for food contact. It must also be animal fat and chemical resistant, as well as waterproof.

Silicone Engineering are a leading provider of high-performing FDA food grade silicone solutions fit for use across the food and beverage industry.  To find out more about the products we offer please visit our food and beverage page or get in touch.

Is Silicone BPA-Free?

Silicone rubber combines synthetic and chemical elements, making it unique and durable. The critical ingredient in silicone is silicon. Silicone is made by combining this element with oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. This combination results in a material resistant to heat and cold, flexible, and non-toxic.

Silicone, not to be confused with silicon (a naturally occurring substance and the second most abundant element on Earth after oxygen) is a man-made polymer created by adding carbon and/or oxygen to silicon.

It is surging in popularity because it is malleable, soft, and shatterproof.  The FDA has approved it “as a food-safe substance.” It can now be found in numerous baby bottle nipples, plates, sippy cups, baking dishes, kitchen utensils, mats, and even toys.

Silicone is a rubber-like material composed of silicon, oxygen, and carbon. It is non-reactive, stable, and can withstand extremely high and low temperatures. Above all, silicone is non-toxic, safe to use, and widely adopted for medical applications. Perhaps owing to the higher manufacturing costs of using it for feeding bottles compared to PC plastics, it’s seldom considered a material for making feeding bottles.

ForestSilicone has been researching how to improve the safety and quality of baby products for years. Equipped with advanced technology, “twin-shot injection molding,” ForestSilicone successfully designed and produced silicone feeding products that would be of an ultra-wide neck, breast-like shape, anti-colic-vent, and most importantly, could allow the content (whatever milk or water) to be in contact with silicone only, without touching plastics. Unlike other brands, ForestSilicone baby products and Teat are produced as a one-piece structure without adhesives, safeguarding babies from potentially toxic chemicals and being the first of their kind.

How Do I Know If My Silicone Is BPA-Free?

  • Use the silicone products that were produced after 2013.1.1.
  • Use infant-used silicone products that are BPA-free.
  • Avoid plastics or products with a #3 or #7 recycling code at the bottom. These plastics might contain BPA, but other types of numbered plastic are much less likely to have it.
  • Buy silicone products from the FDA-listed supplier.
  • Buy silicone products that have the certification of the FDA.
  • Test the silicone products you have in the third lab (SGS). Intertek, Bureau Veritas, TÜV Rheinland) This is a high cost for only personal use. Most brands will test BPA before their silicone products are on the market. For personal use, only buy silicone products that have passed the test and have the certification to confirm that they are BPA-free.

Tips for safe silicone:

It is highly recommended to use a good quality silicone i.e at least food grade. The higher the quality, the better and safer.

  1. Reusable Silicone Food Bag, 15 Packs (S, M, L)—perfect for picnics and kid’s lunches!
  2. Silicone Ice Mould Maker, 15 Holes, Blue—great for the entire family!
  3. Reusable silicone food bag – Medium – Bring it to outdoor trips, work lunch, and
  4. Reusable Silicone Smart Cups 4 Pack, Green Blend—take these to parties or picnics, and kids and adults can use them!
  5. Reusable Silicone Smart Cups, 4 packs, 4 colors—all will be awesome!
  6. Silicone Cupcake Moulds (6 Pack) for baking lovers!
  7. Silicone Ice Straw Mould, Tropical: Get ready for summer or parties!
  8. Silicone Food Bowl covers—replace your plastic cling wrap!

If you made it to the end, we hope you found some value in this post. Enjoy!

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