Many people use parchment paper, commonly coated with a substance called “polysiloxane,” known as silicone, when grilling fish or meat in air fryers or frying pans. While this coating is relatively safe and can withstand salt and acid, concerns arise when it is heated beyond recommended temperatures. The silicone material, also found in synthetic plastics, breaks down, releasing microplastics that can contaminate the food.
Although parchment paper can generally withstand temperatures of around 220-240 degrees Celsius, some silicone components may start to degrade before that point. The exact harmful effects of microplastics are yet to be determined.
Experts emphasize that while it has not been proven to be harmful, it is still uncertain. They suggest using parchment paper for food wrapping but not subjecting it to high heat.
Experts also note that despite claims of being environmentally friendly, parchment paper is not strictly an eco-friendly product. The silicone coating requires artificial processing and disposal methods, such as burial or incineration, which makes it no better than other foil products in terms of eco-friendliness.
According to the guidelines set by the Ministry of Environment’s “Notification on Management of Environmental Labeling and Advertising,” any product with improved environmental features can be labeled as “environmentally friendly.” This applies to parchment paper as well, as it has better environmental characteristics compared to similar products.
A representative from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety stated that cooking with parchment paper or heating it in a microwave does not produce carcinogenic substances, and silicone resin has extremely low toxicity as a food additive. However, the potential harmful effects of microplastics are still being researched worldwide, including by regulatory authorities.