LifestyleThe hidden hazards of baking paper: Tips for safe use

The hidden hazards of baking paper: Tips for safe use

Can baking paper harm us? Everything depends on how we use it.
Can baking paper harm us? Everything depends on how we use it.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Pixel-Shot

8:08 AM EST, November 28, 2023

Baking paper has revolutionized the lives of many home cooks. It's one of those inventions that's now fundamental in the kitchen. However, it's important to understand how to use it correctly, as misuse can lead to harmful consequences.

Advancements in technology haven't spared the kitchen - from baking paper and microwaves to aluminum foil and blenders. These tools have become so integrated into our cooking routines that it's hard to imagine life without them. However, it's critical to have a basic understanding of how these items work.

Take baking paper as an example. How does this seemingly ordinary material eliminate the need for greasing and flouring baking pans and the tiresome task of scrubbing baked-on food? It's not simply luck but a result of practical, albeit, basic chemistry. However, this same chemistry can be harmful if not managed properly.

Is baking paper health-friendly?

Manufacturers of baking paper assure consumers that their products are safe, eco-friendly, and food-grade. Usually made from soft, biodegradable wood pulp, this product is supposed to be harmless to food and humans. But is that always the case?

The effectiveness of baking paper is due to a coating that can become toxic under inappropriate conditions. The key culprits are silicone, which consists of silicon atoms, and Quilon, a compound of fat and chromium salt. Both these substances can turn harmful when exposed to excessively high temperatures.

Baking paper has its limitations.
Baking paper has its limitations.© Canva | ArtStudio Images

Appropriate usage of baking paper

There's a reason why the maximum temperature recommended for baking paper usage is between 392 to 428 degrees Fahrenheit. Exceeding these limits might cause harmful chemicals from the paper to seep into the food. Scientists haven't fully explored the effects of this process, but it's said to cause various health concerns, including rheumatism.

Furthermore, it's important to remember not to reuse baking paper. Its coating of silicone or Quilon has limits and can emit toxins when heated multiple times, which can potentially contaminate the air we breathe as well.

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