What is a non-stick coating?
A non-stick coating is categorically a functional coating. The function is based on being able to fry and bake things with a minimum of cooking fat and still being able to remove the respective item from the pan. For cookware, the coating is generally based on thermoplastic polymers with a PTFE base. Both PTFE and silicone coatings are used for baking pans. But alternative systems based on inorganic raw materials (ceramic coatings) are also available nowadays.
What type of non-stick coatings are there?
Various types of non-stick coatings exist and are designed according to the application - frying and grilling or baking. The ceramic coatings are a new addition to the mix and also cover such applications.
To what types of base materials can non-stick coatings be applied?
Non-stick coatings are generally applied to metallic base materials. Various carrier metals are used according to the demands and quality.
Various pre-treatment processes also play a role.
Common base materials are: Steel, aluminized steel, aluminum (pressed, forged, pressure cast). But ceramics, earthenware, and under some circumstances particularly suited high-temperature ceramics are also used.
Is cookware and bakeware made with ILAG® non-stick coatings safe from a health perspective?
Yes. The non-stick coatings are subjected to stringent internal controls before being introduced on the market. The relevant legal guidelines are observed. The coatings are tested by independent testing institutes to ensure that they are harmless to health. These tests are repeated at regular intervals.
These coating systems have also been used safely and successfully over the past 40 years. Millions upon millions of coated items were sold on the market and used safely.
What happens when a non-stick coating is overheated?
The quality is reduced by high temperatures. The non-stick properties are reduced and color changes may occur. These effects start happening at temperatures above 250 °C. A type of smoke can also develop at extremely high temperatures (> 350 °C).
But cooking oils and fats already start to produce smoke and gases at much lower temperatures (approx. 200 °C). These gases prevent the actual crack-temperatures of over 350 °C from being reached.
All pans also bear a warning that they should not be left on a heat source unattended or without something being cooked in them.
How can I prevent an item with non-stick coating from overheating?
It is best to use items with non-stick coatings at low and medium heat. You can briefly use them for frying at higher temperatures (< 250 °C). At higher temperatures, the food becomes unsightly and burns, making it inedible.
In addition, cooking oils and fats start to smoke at temperatures above approx. 200 °C, so this can be used as an indicator of when the heat must be reduced. Therefore a few drops are enough to act as a “warning signal”.
Are swallowed particles of non-stick coatings harmless to health?
Since all non-stick coatings were tested for their suitability and for being harmless to health, any potential coating particles are also harmless.
In the event that particles are swallowed, they cannot be absorbed by the body and are excreted unmodified.
What are the advantages to using cookware and bakeware with ILAG® non-stick coatings?
To begin with, ILAG® ensures that all stages of the manufacturing process are controlled and monitored as effectively as possible. Furthermore, ILAG® follows the very latest guidelines and knowledge in order to manufacture and process the coatings in an optimal and safe manner.
As a result, the best possible coating is used in accordance with the application.
What is the best way to clean a non-stick coating?
Hot water with soap and a sponge or cloth is sufficient in most cases. We recommend using a bit more force or pressure for stubborn dirt.
Can I use abrasive cleaners or Scotch Pads for cleaning?
Since the ILAG® coatings are particularly easy to clean, cleaning them with hot water and a soft sponge is sufficient. Nevertheless, abrasive cleaners and Scotch Pads should not be used for stubborn dirt. Increased pressure or the use of a nylon brush will solve the problem.
Can non-stick coatings be cleaned in the dishwasher?
We recommend hand washing in order to ensure the longevity of the coating. Occasionally cleaning in the dishwasher doesn’t damage the coating, but can reduce the longevity if it is done frequently. We recommend rubbing the coating with cooking oil soaked paper towel after cleaning in the dishwasher.
Do I have to observe temperature restrictions?
Yes. In general, it is necessary to ensure that coated cookware is not heated on the stove when empty (without oil, fat, vegetables, meat), otherwise the temperature range (>250 °C) at which the coating is destroyed may be reached.
Also ensure that the bakeware is not heated to temperatures > 250 °C during baking and roasting in the oven. This is generally not the case, since the service temperatures are considerably lower and since the forms are "cooled" by the contents.
Can I really forego the use of fat and oil with a non-stick coating?
From a purely technical point of view, one can forego the use of fat and oil with PTFE coatings. But since oil and fat add flavor, we still recommend using at least a bit of oil or fat for frying. In addition, oils and fats make it easier to recognize overheating (see FAQ question no. 1 in usage).
What is PFOA?
PFOA or PFOS is perfluorooctanoic acid. PFOA is used as an additive during the PTFE manufacturing process and is not added by ILAG®.
Are ILAG® non-stick coatings PFOA free?
ILAG® already purchases exclusively PFOA-free raw materials. All of our products are manufacturedPFOA-free all over the world.
Where do the temperature specifications which ILAG® uses for its coatings come from?
The temperature specifications are based on the 51st recommendation of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. The temperatures specified here are 140 °C or 180 °C for baking applications, and 230 °C or 250 °C for frying applications.
Does the EU guideline 1935/2004 apply to ILAG® non-stick coatings?
The guideline 1935/2004 issued by the EU regulates food contact materials, i.e. finished products which can come into contact with food. Unprocessed non-stick coating should not come into contact with food so it doesn’t fall under this guideline. But our products can be used to produce finished goods in accordance with the guideline 1935/2004. Therefore we only use raw materials which, if processed properly and according to the current state of knowledge, don't damage the consumer’s health as a result of the non-stick coating. We have this confirmed by independent testing laboratories for our non-stick coatings applied to a reference material.
What must be observed in the context of REACH?
REACH is an EU law on the recording, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals. In particular, it is intended to eliminate substances with a highly negative effect on the environment and human health. To begin with, ILAG® doesn’t fall directly under the area of application of REACH since it is headquartered in Switzerland. But as an importer/exporter to the EU, we must also fulfill the REACH requirements. We choose our raw materials suppliers accordingly and use contractual stipulations with companies headquartered in the area of application of REACH to ensure that our products meet REACH criteria.
What federal requirements apply primarily to non-stick coatings?
Nearly all countries regulate food-related items. Due to the broad range of food contact materials, the guideline 1935/2004 which is applicable in the EU has generally been met. Since comprehensive specific regulations (EU directive 10/2011) have so far only been issued for plastic items, we fall back on the recommendations for food contact materials issued in Germany by the BfR (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) (especially recommendation 51) in order to assess our coatings.
In the USA, the FDA is responsible for the monitoring and issuing of food-related regulations. 21CFR specifies the materials which are permissible for use in food contact materials.