Perhaps it is due to confusion surrounding silicone, but what studies exist that document the safety and best practices of using silicone oil? I understand it is used for as an anti-foaming agent in deep-frying, and also has medicinal purposes (as an anti-flatulant); but in a high temperature evironment, does it remain inert and safe?
Not much is out there.
Food-grade silicone oil (dimethylpolysiloxane, for the chemists out there) is routinely used in medical and food-prep devices, and it has been approved by the US FDA Office of Food Additive Safety for use as a direct additive in diverse foods, like milk, dry gelatin dessert mix, canned pineapple juice, and even salt. Of course, we're talking about minuscule amounts, in the range of 100 ppm; at high concentrations, it is a skin and eye irritant. So what level is safe? We can't assume that the FDA ever tested it, as the Office of Food Additive Safety is woefully underfunded.
An informal literature search yielded me only a handful of scientific articles looking at silicone oil in frying. The most promising was by Bertrand Matthaus, Norbert Haase, and Klaus Vossman, "Factors affecting the concentration of acrylamide during deep fat frying of potatoes," Eur. J. Of Lipid Sci. & Tech., V.106(11), pp. 793-801 (Nov 2004) (fig. 3 specifically measures acrylamide concentration as a function of the amount of silicone oil). Unfortunately, I don't have a subscription, so I can't tell what the bottom line was.
Myself, I don't see the benefit of using it at home.
protected by Community♦ Sep 26 at 21:02
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