How Can You Stop Food Sticking To Non-Stick Pans?
We have all experienced that problem of food sticking to pots and pans when cooking and having to soak them in water with a good sprinkling of baking soda to help remove the residue.
But now the problem may have been solved!
Scientists have been researching this and have provided a possible solution.
These scientists working at the Czech Academy of Sciences have discovered that it all comes down to a dry spot in the pan - a dry spot caused by a type of convection heat.
Apparently when the pan is heated from below, the oil film at the center is hotter than than at the edge. The pan's surface tension decreases as temperature increases - and this difference in surface tension creates thermocapillary convection which moves oil outwards.
When the oil film in the middle becomes thinner than a critical value, it ruptures, creating a dry spot. This is when food sticks to the plan.
Are you any the wiser?
The lead researcher, Dr. Alexander Fedorchenko, writing in the journal Physics of Fluids, tells us how to overcome this problem:
"To avoid dry spots, the following measures should be applied: increasing the oil film thickness, moderate heating, completely wetting the surface of the pan with oil, using a pan with a thick bottom or stirring food regularly during cooking".
What about those non-stick pans?
We have written about Teflon and non stick cookware before but the famous non stick coating is not just used for cookware. Its use is universal to such an extent that it is now said that PFOA – a chemical used in Teflon – is found in the blood of every human on Earth.
This is the end result after the 70 years since the non stick coating was first introduced.
PFOA has also been added to products such as:
- Nail polish removers
- Repellent products to keep carpets, furniture and other free from grease, water and dirt
- Those bags of microwavable popcorn, pizza boxes and food wraps
- Protective sprays for leather, shoes and clothing
- Paint and
- Cleaning products
So many different uses make understanding the spread of PFOA easier
And before its introduction, there was little testing nor regulation. No one considered the impact on our health. For example, even many sources of drinking water have been contaminated.
Once PFOA is released into the environment, it doesn't break down quickly and disappear. It can take up to 20 years to detox from the body (and that is provided you have no more contamination in the meantime).
Try to limit your exposure - and for cooking in particular - change to stainless steel, cast iron, glass or ceramic cookware not forgetting to add some extra oil and the other instructions (listed above) to avoid that cooked food sticking to the pan.