What is non stick coating? How it consumes less oil in our cooking? Is it good for or health?

Do you know which polymer is used as a Nonstick Coating? Is it really consumes less oil if yes then How

What is Teflon?

 Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE) which is used in making our non-stick utensils. Teflon can be manufactured in many colors. The coating can be available in metallic and non-metallic depending on the non-stick qualities. PTFE was invented by Roy Plunkett in 1938. But The Mycenaean Greeks used this non-stick coating pans from approximately  3,000 years ago. They made their utensils with one side is smooth which is covered with Teflon coating and other side covered with tiny holes.

How Teflon is made?

Tetrafluoroethylene is a synthetic gas which has properties of colorless, inflammable and insoluble in water. Due to these properties, it is used in the synthesis of polytetrafluoroethylene resins.

Its chemical structure is

After freezing and compressing of tetrafluoroethylene, the gas transformed into a white, waxy solid. This will become polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, this solid has a low coefficient of friction which is needed to make utensils smooth.

The changes in the structure of tetrafluoroethylene to polytetrafluoroethylene is

Does Teflon really absorb less oil?

We all know that a frictional surface has many pores if these pores is filled then there is no space for other things to come in contact with the pores. If we magnify a metal pan we will see its surface is torn or it has a small piece which we termed as pores. When we take the metal on fire for cooking, it heats up, the metal expands and these pores enlarge. These enlargements of pores allowing food to seep in due to this our food stick on the metal.

Strong structural cohesive forces in PTFE

The structural bonds of Carbon-Carbon and carbon-fluorine bonds are among the strongest bonds in all of organic chemistry. It makes a strong covalent bond with the sharing of electrons in the outer shell.

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Fluorine is the most electronegative element because it has 5 electrons in it’s 2P shell. The optimal electron configuration of the 2P orbital contains 6 electrons. so Fluorine is so close to ideal electron configuration, the electrons are held very tightly to the nucleus this makes the fluorine atoms only prefer their own kind. While repelling any other kind of molecule. In chemical terms, we say that PTFE has strong cohesive forces, each other. PTFE has virtually no adhesive forces, which is why any other molecule find itself hard to stick on.PTFE cohesive and adhesive forces

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PTFE has strong cohesive forces, but weak adhesive forces.

Another thing is that PTFE is non-polar in nature which means electron is shared equally to the nuclei. This property makes the PTFE non-reactive to the other things, which ensure us that it does not react without food.

Is PTFE is safe for our health?

Our main concern is that if we intake poly polytetrafluoroethylene what will it make a reaction to our body. With a lot of experiments the scientist found that PTFE is not damaging our health it can cause temporary flu but it does not a life-threatening polymer. It can  be dangerous for birds which has a weak respiratory system.

PTFE starts to degrade above 500°F, releasing fluorocarbons and other fumes into the air. So It’s best to avoid heating nonstick pans above medium to medium-high heat on the stovetop,

Another thing is that  PTFE coating on nonstick pans starts to fall off with time . Particles of PTFE nonstick coating are inert and pose no health threat if ingested, according to the Food and Drug Administration

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