Ice Ball Molds
The Safety of Silicone Ice Ball Molds
What is Silicone?
Silicon dioxide (silica) is a naturally occurring substance, found in sandstone and beach sand. Silica is the basis of all silicone products on the market. Silicone must be synthesized, and does not occur naturally. The silicone products that we find in the store are synthesized by combining silica and oxygen. Silicone has many properties that led to its use in the food industry. Silicone exhibits
· Thermal Stability – Silicone is stable at a wide range of temperatures (-148oF to 482oF)
· Antimicrobial –Silicone is a slick substance, which gives it non-stick properties, and does not provide a foothold for bacteria, to grow.
· Hydrophobic – Silicone repels water, and provides water tight seals.
· Low Chemical Reactivity – Silicone is a highly stable compound, and does not react chemically when in contact with other substances.
Silicone and Food
Food grade silicone, is pure silicone, and does not contain any fillers.Unlike industrial grade silicone, food grade silicone is closely monitored by the FDA.The FDA has approved the use of pure silicone in the kitchen.Silicone’s unique properties have led to the use of silicone in cookware, bake ware and other kitchen items, including ice ball molds.
Silicone Ice Ball Molds vs. Plastic Ice Cube Trays
Silicone ice ball molds are safer than plastic ice cube trays, because silicone has low chemical reactivity. This means that nothing leaches from the silicone mold to the ice. This is not so with plastic ice cube trays. Ice, from plastic ice cube trays, often has a smell or aftertaste. Hard plastics have been found to leak BisphenolA (BPA) into food and drink in contact with the plastic. The FDA has recommended only buying products that are BPA free, like silicone, because of potential long-term effects of BPA exposure.
Plastic has been known to crack, or become brittle, at low temperatures. Silicone retains its rubbery properties to temperatures as low as -148oF. This makes silicone ice ball molds more durable than plastic ice cube trays. Silicone ice ball molds are also more customizable. Since silicone is rubbery, ice balls can be more intricate, because you can peel the silicone mold off of the ice.
It is important to do your homework before buying. Make sure that the silicone you are buying is pure silicone, without any fillers. A simple test can be to squeeze the silicone firmly, between your thumb and forefinger. If the silicone does not change color, then it is food grade silicone; therefore, safe to use in the kitchen. Be sure to research customer reviews, to ensure that you are buying from trusted brands. This ensures that you are getting the best product for your money.