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Aug 14, 2011 03:53 PM

parchment silicon coating comes off on food?

Hi, I just finished reading through all that was said back and forth about USING wax paper and (silicon/quilong(?)) parchment paper. It was touched on, but not really addressed, and maybe the vast majority of the baking world isn't so sensitive:

Wax paper is coated with wax a petroleum product. That was the statement. That little isn't going to bother anybody. And that is my problem. Things USED TO NOT BOTHER ME. Now, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G bothers me. I have problems with soy, petroleum, pesticides, point: It is a know fact that low level exposure to "toxins" or "allergens" is slowly raising your sensitivity. That is where I am now, and until I was suddenly there, I never registered it. Kind of like many seafood allergies, people were happily going about their business enjoying, and then overnight "poof", and now they can never have it again or risk death! I have to look for Organic Everything! It's such a pain. I didn't think that silicon was a factor until I helped straighten out the teflon tape one night, and the next day I was peeling the skin off all my fingertips. REALLY. And you are thinking....wait, she said silicon and then she is talking about teflon. I mean Silicon SEEMS stable, but I overcooked without popping a batch of organic popping corn, and now the silicon 'stirrer'(sp?) I was using has a smell inbedded in it. If it can imbed the smell of the burning - no damage to the silicon whatsoever that I can see; it was good to 500 degrees F - that is a porous surface. If it is porous, then something can just as well come out as get in. Am I wrong??

Parchment paper, how can it compost or biodegrade with that coating? Or, did it just cook off in micro levels onto the bottom of your food?? Or kind of worse really, burn off into the oven as fumes that as barely perceptible, and then you breath it in? I do have reactions to a LOT of things that I can't smell consciously, so I AM concerned.

If someone could shed some light, I would REALLY appreciate it.

The pan was a le creuset if it matters, with that enameled baked on coating.

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  1. Parchment paper (the kind used in baking) does not have any silicone. It is treated with an acid that gelatinizes the paper pulp and makes the coating non-stick. It is stable to about 420F and non-reactive. It is pourous so will soak up a little of the grease from whatever is baked on it. If it burns, well, it's paper. Won't hurt you.

    There are other coated baking substrates but I don't use them. Silicone does tend to absorb odors, but Parchment works well, can be reused, and is biodegradable.

    7 Replies
    1. re: iluvcookies

      There is some parchment treated with silicone as well as parchment treated with quilon, which is what I think you are referring to, iluvcookies.

      I have a brand in my kitchen called If You Care, that is treated with silicone. The package indicates that they use the silicone because it is nontoxic when incinerated, where quilon "contains chromium, a heavy metal, which can leave toxic trace elements when incinerated." The distinctions made by the brand are more about the environmental impact of manufacturing than home use. This parchment is biodegradable and compostable, as well.

      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        I thought baking parchment was made by soaking the paper in sulfuric acid and then washing it out, which gelatinizes the starch and makes the paper smooth. Is this is the same as quilon? I'll have to see what is in my kitchen then. I have unbleached parchment, but it's different brand than yours
        In any case, I never worried that parchment would be toxic, even if it burned.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Thanks to iluvcookies and Caitlin McGrath for answers. So I definitely want to stay away from parchment with quilon..."contains chromium, a heavy metal, which can leave toxic trace elements when incinerated." I have an chromium, nickel and cobalt allergy-heavy metals...

          That leaves the parchment with silicone then. OR, I need to just take the time and butter and flour, and just soak and scrub the pans if necessary. I USED to bake ALL the time, and had a whole set of mismatched twosies and single pans; then I broke down and bought a bunch(6) pans of the same size - that was how many I needed to go through for a "batch" of cookies. I just found myself with concerns about pan surface transfer of ???? when all the allergies got identified.
          Sidebar, but related, and added to my concern(paranoia?) when I found out that most/all(?) mixes for cookies and brownies (my all time FAVORITE) had soy lecithin in them, that turns into the off color, sticky residue found of many pans [baking and cooking] from people spraying non-stick sprays on. I just got to be all concerned about WHAT leached out of the pans while baking and have practically stopped baking [really hard on me because it was my stress therapy, so no outlet : ( ] because of the soy lecithin in chocolate/mixes in general.

          Caitlin McGrath, last question, WHERE did you get the If You Care parchment from - regular store, specialty store(which one) or online? Cost?

          Again, thanks again for the help. I've butter/floured for now(loaf pan), but would like to got back to cookies at some time. I'll post a separate question about soy-free organic chocolate sources.

          1. re: fuzzhead

            Hi fuzzhead, I am currently in the SF Bay Area, and my local supermarket carries If You Care unbleached, no-chlorine parchmnent, as well as the brand's cupcake/muffin papers. I believe I have also seen the brand at Whole Foods, and I have also bought it at Bed Bath & Beyond on both coasts. It's not particularly expensive, or more than other brands, I think around $4.

            You could email the distributor listed here and ask where it's sold near you:

            Best of luck!

            1. re: fuzzhead

              "."contains chromium, a heavy metal, which can leave toxic trace elements when incinerated." I have an chromium, nickel and cobalt allergy-heavy metals..."

              Chromium is the ingredient in stainless steel that makes it stainless. The typical 18/10 stainless is 18% chromium, 10% nickel. Stainless resists rust because the chromium at the surface oxidizes form a hard, durable chromium oxide layer. As that wears away, more chromium migrates to the surface and oxidizes, renewing the protective coating. And for what it's worth, aluminum also doesn't rust for the same reason, aluminum oxide is a durable coating.

              quilon data sheet; it contains trivalent chromium. This form of chromium may be necessary trace element
              It's the hexavalent form that is toxic.

              1. re: paulj

                Paul,so are you saying that the type of chromium in parchment is nontoxic?


        2. I just checked my box of Regency brand parchment and it doesn't specify a coating; just says "no animal fats or oils used".

          Just checked their website and there are no specifics there either, but you could email them to ask if silicone is used in their parchment. Let us know what they reply, since now I'm curious as well!

          1 Reply
          1. re: skyline

            The brand I have is Beyond Gourmet. Accoring to the box, it is made without chlorine and is Kosher-certified. Nothing that is going to keep me up nights, especially since I have 3 rolls of it to use up.

            I hope we have al been helpful to the OP.