Difference Between Food Grade Silicone And Regular Silicone

December 22, 2023

Silicone has become increasingly popular in various industries due to its versatility and wide range of applications. From kitchen utensils to medical devices, silicone is known for its flexibility, durability, and non-toxic properties.

However, when choosing the suitable silicone for your needs, there is often confusion between food-grade and regular silicone. This article will explore the differences between these two types of silicone. We will also suggest which is best suited for your specific requirements.

What Is Food-grade Silicone?

Food-grade silicone is a special type of silicone to use with food. The main focus is to ensure food safety. It is durable and resistant to weather conditions, making it ideal for kitchen use.

What sets food-grade silicone apart is its NSF approval, guaranteeing its safety for food-related applications. To ensure its suitability for food contact, silicone cookware that carries the "food safe" certification by the NSF-51 standard undergoes rigorous third-party testing.

This certification ensures the product is free from potentially harmful substances such as BPA, lead, latex, and phthalates. Additionally, silicone is considered non-hazardous waste and environmentally friendly.

Silicone is a synthetic material of silicon, oxygen, and other elements. Its durability and resistance to chemical leaching make it a reliable choice for food and beverage applications. With its wide temperature range, silicone is well-suited for various culinary needs. Here is a video showing the mass production of silicone kitchen utensils:

Difference Between Food Grade Silicone And Regular Silicone

Food-grade and regular silicone may look similar, but their purposes are different. Their formulations also vary. Here are the key differences between food-grade silicone and regular silicone:

Smell

Check the scent of the silicone product. If you notice a strong odor, it is likely food-grade silicone; it’s probably regular silica gel.

However, it's important to note that some food-grade silica gels may have a subtle odor. This odor does not affect the quality, safety, or other concerns. Over time, the scent will naturally dissipate.

Touch

Food-grade silica gel has outstanding toughness and elasticity. You cannot bend it by external forces, thanks to these properties.

Unlike regular silicone goods that easily deform and feel uneven to the touch, food-grade silicone offers a smoother and more comfortable hand feel.

Applying Tensile Force

Pulling the silicone rubber product can easily give away its originality status. The procedure is simple. Take the product in your hand. Hold it with both hands on two sides of the product. Now pull the product, and apply force on both sides. Think of it as pulling a rubber band.

If you notice the presence of a white color in the center as you pull it, it indicates a regular silica product. On the other hand, if no white color is visible, it means using food-grade silica gel. It is a very easy and efficient method you can apply to detect food-grade silicone rubber products.

Ingredient

Food-grade silicone is a safe and stable inorganic polymer colloid substance. Companies manufacture it by polycondensation of silicic acid. It is non-toxic, tasteless, and possesses excellent chemical stability.

Food-grade silicone does not react with acid or alkali salts. This property makes it a reliable choice for various applications. However, it might react with caustic alkali and hydrofluoric acid so please be cautious with those products.

Food-grade silicone rubber products have high-temperature resistance, up to 220 °C. So you can use them in microwave ovens without any worries. The temperature won't damage the product. Its superior safety and health benefits make food-grade silicone ideal for a healthy and safe lifestyle.

Manufacturing Process

Regular silicone Silicone rubber items are made using ordinary silicone rubber. Ordinary silicones are used for various purposes such as gaskets, rubber sheets for various industries, silicone sponges, etc. But food-grade silicone products are not made that way.

We use food-grade fumed silica to make food-grade silicone. It ensures that our products follow the highest standards. Fumed silica has a higher purity density than conventional silica, so the end product is in its purest form.

Certification From Various Bodies

Silicone products made from high-quality food-grade silicone rubber are very popular. You will see their wide range of usage as known as food-grade commodities. Manufacturers especially design and make these products to meet the stringent requirements of food industries.

They undergo rigorous testing to cater to market demand and comply with necessary standards such as NSF, FDA, RoHS, REACH, and other environmental regulations.

Why Is Food Grade Silicone Essential For Food Products?

Food-grade silicone is a special type of silicone rubber product. Manufacturers make food-grade silicone products for safe contact with food. Its versatility and durability make it an ideal material for various kitchenware items. Manufacturers also make sure that besides being safe for food, the products are also long-lasting.

Why Is Food Grade Silicone Essential For Food Products

Silicone kitchenware is cheaper than traditional options like stainless steel or aluminum. However, there's a catch. Stainless steel or aluminum products are food-safe by default, but silicone products are not.

When buying silicon rubber products for the kitchen, you’ll have to make sure the silicone is food-grade. Food-grade silicone is non-toxic and incredibly versatile. You can use it confidently in the oven, microwave, or dishwasher.

Moreover, food-grade silicone products can withstand extreme temperatures. You can easily use them in hot and cold conditions. One key advantage of using food-grade silicone is its NSF-51 certification. This certification ensures that a reputable public health and safety authority has deemed the silicone safe for contact with food.

Silicone is a non-toxic material, suitable for use in the kitchen. It is free from any odors and does not contain harmful substances such as BPA, lead, latex, or phthalates. As a result, it is a safer option than other materials that may release toxins when exposed to heat. The following video shows different silicone kitchenware:

Conclusion

There are significant differences between food-grade silicone and regular silicone. Food-grade silicone is safe for contact with food and is free from harmful substances like BPA and phthalates.

It undergoes rigorous testing to ensure its safety and compliance with food safety regulations. On the other hand, regular silicone may not meet the same standards and may not be safe for food contact. Therefore, when selecting silicone products for food-related purposes, it is crucial to choose food-grade silicone to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others.

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