Christmas – in many regions the most memorable holiday of the year – is coming soon. Many people start with planning, decorating, sending invitations, choosing gifts and baking Christmas cookies weeks before. Traditional Christmas sugar cookies, gingerbread, peppermint drops or snickerdoodles, these sweet treats put the scent of Christmas in the air and are something that everyone looks forward to coming December. Some may prefer traditional parchment paper for baking, some other look for a sustainable alternative like a silicone baking mat.
How to decide? Is silicone baking mat safe to use?
You may know, the most common silicone is polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Its excellent heat resistance of up to at least 260°C makes it a great choice for baking mats. However, it is crucial to find out, whether any of the processing aids or by-products will be released during baking, or whether hazardous gas (plasticizer or toxic pyrolysis products) will be released and transferred to the baked goods.
Bruker and NETZSCH’s combination of FT-IR spectroscopy with thermogravimetric analysis is the optimal tool to examine the product safety here. The mass loss during heating up to the recommended maximum usage temperature of 230°C for this mat has been determined. And the gases evolved from the mat were transferred to the FTIR spectrometer to be chemically identified. As result, CO2 has been released as the main component, which is in this context harmless, as it will leave the oven in gaseous form. In addition, a tiny amount of harmless silicone degradation products can be released during the first use. Therefore, we recommend baking the mat prior to the first use without baking goods as a precaution.
We want to thank application specialists at NETZSCH – our cooperation partner in TGA-FTIR technique for almost 30 years – for the interesting test measurements (more details here). And we want to thank you for your long-standing trust in our products. Enjoy the Christmas season and a Happy New Year 2023.
Stay tuned for the highlights in 2023. We are celebrating 30-years of our cooperation with NETZSCH. Bookmark the 28th and 29th of March 2023 for our collaborative customer training at NETZSCH in Selb, Germany and the other one in October 2023 at Bruker in Ettlingen. Our application specialists will conduct these events together to give you the best expertise and training experience for your TGA-FTIR measurements.