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Ingredient of the day: Calcium Silicate

February 26, 2015

 

I recently tried some super yummy crispy baked chicken.

 

Wanting to try it out at home, I made a trip to the grocery store to buy the key ingredient: seasoning salt. What I found, aside from several brands containing MSG, was the presence of calcium silicate in all of them.

 

I’m not a big fan of ingredients I don’t recognize, and here’s what I’ve since learned about the additive.

 

Used as an anti-caking agent, calcium silicate is also used to make insulation.

 

It’s on the list of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s list of GRAS substances: Generally Recognized as Safe. “The available evidence on the acute toxicity of sodium silicate indicates that it is low,” the FDA reports.

 

Used in an industrial or occupational setting, calcium silicate shows up on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. (NIOSH stands for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.) It this context, it can irritate the eyes, skin, and upper respiratory system. 

 

But still, do I really want to ingest something that’s also used to make insulating boards? 

 

There are all sorts of recipes online for easy, natural, housemade seasoning salt, like these ones from Food.com and Wellness Mama.

 

I'm off to try one now.

 

 

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           Gail Johnson
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