Nowadays, when it comes to confectionery products, it is possible to obtain any form. With the help of silicone molds, available in unexpected forms, confectioners can prepare unusual products, surprising their clients.
We spoke with two silicone molds producers to find more about these tools and how they help the bakes and confectioner.
“Silicone molds offer amazing benefits: it has a strong non-stick effect, especially with sugar. You may create any shape, even very complex or with a very specific surface. With silicone molds you can bake and freeze, which is not possible with metal molds,” explain the experts with Maé Innovation, a French expert in bakery equipment for professionals and food industry.
On the other hand, using molds allows consistency and production rationalization, highlight the experts from Sasa Demarle, a company established in the United States in 1993, in order to introduce the world-renowned non-stick baking product lines of two French manufacturers – SASA and DEMARLE – to the North American marketplace. “You produce each time the same good-looking products, with the same quantity of raw material and it takes the same time for preparation and cooking,” the specialists from Sasa Demarle say.
Creating small items and specific forms is a challenge by itself. Silicone molds help them create beautiful details and precise shapes consistently. The silicone molds are flexible and easy to remove which reduces the risk of damaging small, fragile and delicate creations, the experts with Maé Innovation stress.
“Silicone molds come in various shapes and sizes so you can find the ones adapted to your specific needs, you can offer very different looking products using the same recipes and no training is needed. Differentiation can be made with just décor or flavoring. It is also easier thanks to non-stick properties (unmolding is not a nightmare anymore!) and easy cleaning,” Sasa Demarle’s specialists add.
Among the benefits of using silicone molds, created for intensive and industrial uses, Silmaé molds (a brand by Maé Innovation) offer many benefits:
- They can be fixed in any production environment – manual and fully automated;
- They support temperatures between +280°C and – 45°C and are suitable for deep frozen and baked products and adapted for sweet and savory recipes;
- The silicone non-stick qualities enable easy, clean, quick turning out, without any loss of products;
- Silicone has good resistance to changes between hot and cold temperature, even in a quick time;
- Easy cleaning.
In turn, Sasa Demarle – the inventor of Flexipan®, the first silicone molds created for bakers and pastry chefs – mentions that their molds have a fiberglass texture coated with a unique silicone. This is specially formulated and produced by their chemistry laboratory for pastry-making and baking. “Fiberglass provides good support and allows to use a thinner silicone layer for optimum heat distribution. We also use a unique silicone, specially formulated and produced by our chemistry laboratory for pastry-making and baking. This silicone is adapted to our customer needs: it has great non-stick properties, is suitable for freezing and baking (from -40°C to +240°C) and has high life expectancy (can exceed 3,000 uses depending on products),” Sasa Demarle’s specialists underline.
A Matter of Safety
From the perspective of consumers’ safety, silicone molds are suitable for food contact with no negative consequence on human health. Maé Innovation silicone trays comply with the highest French (NF standard EN 1186 & 25/11/1992 order), European (Regulation EC n°1935/2004 & EU n°10/2011) and American (FDA) food standards: the system provides complete traceability for each item, Maé Innovation explains.
Furthermore, the company underlines that silicone is an expensive material, about ten times more expensive than plastic. The strength of Maé Innovation is to use premium quality silicones, complying with French and European food standard, certified by an independent laboratory. The company requests this certification renewal every year, obtained after different tests and analysis giving the guarantee that there is no contamination from the molds to the products. “To prevent any risk, users should ask their supplier for a migration test report. Maé is one of the very few manufacturers to edit reports with full transparency,” the experts say.
Sasa Demarle underlines the necessity of no compromise when it comes to product quality. “Our quality procedure and production process guarantee a safe silicone product and the safety of our products is reflected in our compliance with the most demanding international regulations like Europe 1935/2004/CE and FDA regulations. A safe product prevents any contamination,” Sasa Demarle mentions.
The cleaning of silicone molds is simple and easy, Maé Innovation adds.
To wash them: soak the trays in hot water, with a non-aggressive and neutral pH cleaning agent if necessary, at 80°C for 30mn, then place them in a cleaning channel to take off the deposit. At the end of the cleaning, trays should keep the same aspect than a new one.
It is important to follow the following recommendations:
- clean the silicone trays regularly, as fat accumulation is detrimental to the durability of the material;
- the customers are recommended to not store fat trays;
- after a long time of non-use, sterilize the trays to 120°C for 45 minutes.
“Cleaning is the easiest with silicone. Accumulation of grease is detrimental to the durability of the material so you just need to was regularly your molds. You only need to soak in hot soapy water and use a non-abrasive sponge. Mild detergent is recommended (pH between 5 and 10), aggressive ones would damage the molds,” Sasa Demarle underlines.
When it comes to market, Maé Innovation’s experts think that the demand for this customized molds will grow. “Consumption habits are changing: consumers are looking for original and unique products that are as tasty as beautiful. Technological innovation makes it easier to answer to this new demand, particularly through 3D printing,” the company says.
Sasa Demarle considers that since their creation by Flexipan® in the ’90s, silicone molds revolutionized the pastry making. “They are now everywhere, Chefs are using them internationally. Now it’s time for bakers to see advantages of silicone molds, for bread and viennoiseries for example. A new generation of bakers are using them to create new kind of baked products and bakery shops are now as attractive as pastry shops,” Sasa Demarle underlines.
Furthermore, the experts forecast that the future for silicone molds is in customized or “sur-mesure” solutions. This trend is already growing in pastry business: pastry chefs are creating their signature pastries, signature shapes and it will probably be the same for bakery with signature shapes of bread or croissant.