LFGB vs FDA Testing
A food contact test is a test related to a container or product that will have contact with food. The main purpose of the test is to see if there is any harmful substance released to the food and if there is any impact on the taste. The tests involve soaking the container with different types of liquid for a period of time and temperature tests.
For silicone products, there are mainly two standards, one is LFGB food grade, another is FDA food grade. Silicone products that pass either one of these tests are safe for human use. In terms of pricing, products in LFGB standard will be more expensive than FDA standard, so FDA is more widely used. This is because LFGB method of testing is more comprehensive and strict.
Different countries have different standards that silicone products must meet to be deemed safe for human use when in contact with food.
For example, in the US & Australia, the minimum standard for silicone products is ‘FDA’ testing (Food & Drug Administration standard).
Silicone products sold in Europe except for Germany & France must meet the European Food Contact Regulations – 1935/2004/EC.
Silicone products sold in Germany & France must meet ‘LFGB’ testing regulations which is the toughest of all standards – this type of silicone material must pass more intensive testing, is of a better quality and is therefore more expensive. It is also known as ‘Platinum Silicone’.
“The LFBG (Lebensmittel-, Bedarfsgegenstände-und Futtermittelgesetzbuch, or “Foods, Consumer Goods and Feedstuffs Code”) is sometimes thought to be the European equivalent of the FDA. This is not quite correct. The LFGB is the German enactment of European law as operated by the Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (BfR). The BfR recommendations for food-contact materials are some of the more comprehensive in the EU”. Reference.
The mark of “Knife and fork” is a symbol of food safety. For food contact material, if there is a “knife and fork” symbol, it means that the product has passed the inspection raised by a number of European countries including Germany.
So is Silicone Really Safe?
Silicone is made from quartz sand and oxygen atoms combined with carbon, hydrogen and sometimes other elements.
There are a number of global organisations carrying out safety studies including:
A non-profit trade organisation representing all major producers of silicones in Europe who over 35 years, have carried out scientific research dedicated to assess the safety of silicones relative to workers, consumers, the environment and manufacturing processes. They have found:
The results of this continuous research and testing demonstrate that silicones are safe in their diverse and important applications, which contribute enormously to comfort, safety and enjoyment in our daily lives.
Health Canada states:
Silicone is a synthetic rubber which contains bonded silicon (a natural element which is very abundant in sand and rock) and oxygen. Cookware made from food grade silicone has become popular in recent years because it is colorful, nonstick, stain-resistant, hard-wearing, cools quickly, and tolerates extremes of temperature. There are no known health hazards associated with use of silicone cookware.Silicone rubber does not react with food or beverages, or produce any hazardous fumes.
So In Summary …
Even though both FDA & LFGB approved silicone is considered food safe, silicone that has passed LFGB testing is definitely a better quality silicone resulting in greater durability and less foul silicone odour and taste.
Manufacturers will use different quality silicone material depending on their customer’s requirements i.e. whether they require FDA or LFGB approved silicone – which will depend on where the customer plans to sell their silicone products and also to what level of quality they want to offer their customers.
We at Just Smart Kitchenware care deeply about the health of our customers, so we ensure our collapsible silicone containers & compact kitchenware, are produced to the highest quality using LFGB certified silicone.
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