Silicone Dioxide facts

People often ask us how safe Liquid Glass Shield is.  The chemical name for the main constituent of our product is Silicon Dioxide and the chemical symbol is SiO2 and it is, in fact, classified as a food additive.  Yes it’s true; Liquid Glass Shield is made from Silcion Dioxide and you do, indeed, find Silicon Dioxide in food.

This means that it’s completely safe, of course. Not only in applications where it comes into contact with food but in food, itself.  However, we wouldn’t advocate adding Liquid Glass Shield to food under any circumstances as this is done using Silicon Dioxide in a different form.

Here are some facts about Silicon Dioxide in food that you may find very interesting.

Our bodies need Silicon Dioxide.

  • Silicon Dioxide is very important for the normal development of bones and it’s also necessary to maintain healthy bone, joints, skin, hair and nails.
  • Silicon (the element) occurs naturally in foods in the form of silicon dioxide (SiO2). Silicon is never present in its original or free form, and always occurs as silicon dioxide (or silica) in food.
  • Silicon is classed as a Trace Mineral and unlike other minerals it’s only needed in minimal amounts to maintain health. Because the body’s requirement is very small a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) hasn’t been specified but experts do suggest a daily intake in the range of 20-30 mg is needed to stay healthy.
  • Plant based foods tend to contain higher amounts of Silicon Dioxide and cereals contain particularly high levels. By contrast, foods derived from animal sources contain very little.

Silicon Dioxide in Drinks

Silicon Dioxide also occurs naturally in drinking water in the form of silicic acid. Interestingly, water purification techniques have been developed to extract silicon from the water but they’ve not been implemented due to the numerous health benefits.  Not all water is the same, though; Soft water is a poor source of SiO2, whereas hard water is rich in the mineral.

Of course, beverages that contain water will also contain SiO2 including beer, coffee & tea to name just a few.

Silicon Dioxide As a Food Additive

SiO2 is used fairly extensively in powdered foods, is added to many nutritional health food supplements and processed foods and it’s an important component in many pharmaceutical tablets.Why is it added to food externally?  Well, the main reason (other than the nutritional requirement) is that Silicon Dioxide functions as an anti-caking agent, preventing the ingredients from binding together.

Health Benefits of Silicon Dioxide

We’ve already mentioned the important role that SiO2 plays with regard to the development of bones, so it becomes necessary to include silicon food sources in our diet. In order to maintain healthy strong bones and joints, silicon dioxide in foods is very much essential.

A deficiency in SiO2 can lead to osteoarthritis and arthritis and studies on rats have indicated that a diet lacking in SiO2 can have a negative impact on bone formation and tooth structure.

Another important health benefit of silicon is that it minimizes the effect that aluminium has on the body, thereby inhibiting Alzheimer’s disease. Silicon supports joint function and also plays a crucial role for maintaining healthy skin.

Food Safety

When it comes to adding anything to food, safety is the primary concern.  As with most minerals, whilst small amounts are essential to our health, an excess can have the opposite effect.  As a result, the content of Silicon Dioxide in food should not exceed 2% of the foods’ weight.

In addition to this, it’s very Important that the SiO2 used as a food additive is made through a process known as Vapour Phase Hydrolysis to ensure that the particle size is sufficiently small. Any other manufacturing process may well result in the particle size exceeding the safety norms.

Amazingly, Silicon Dioxide has a whole host of other uses ….. but we’ll go into those in another post.

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