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Maybe some chemists can enlighten me with this... PAM ingredients (propane?!)

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I DO have a chemistry background (of the chemical engineering variety, so I wouldn't call it much of a chemistry background), which is to far in my past to be overly useful. The ingredient list on the back of my can of pam shocked me a little - can someone explain to me why it is safe to consume "propellants isobutane and propane"? Is this in some state different then the isobutane and propane we normally encounter as a fuel?

Here the ingredient list:

: Canola oil, soya lecithin, natural and artificial butter flavour, annatto and propellants isobutane and propane.

Edited Mar 26 2010 03:36 by nycgirl
Reason: Locked as duplicate topic here: Please post only one thread per topic, thanks.
4 Replies (last)

Isobutane and propane are gases at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, so I am sure that the food industry would just say that they say go into the air and aren't comsumed in the food. Even if you don't remember the chemistry of hydrocarbons, I am sure that you still retain the concept that nothing that comes out of a distillation column is completely pure. It is just purified enough to meet specifications. So, I would worry more about the impurities that come along with the propane and butane and whether any of them might stay in the pan and get in your food.


I put this in the Weight Loss thread, also:

Ingredients in the "propellant"?

  • nitrous oxide
  • carbon dioxide
  • soy lecithin (not part of the propellant [?] but in the spray)

Maybe taking a teaspoon of evoo and rubbing it on would be better?

This is from the '99 report by the European Commission: Scientific Committee on Food:


In view of the low residue level of propellant gases the SCF has no toxicological concerns about the use of water-based emulsion sprays and oil-based aerosol sprays for baking and frying purposes, which contain propane, butane or iso-butane."


I don't know about safety but I've never liked the taste of those spray cans of oil.  Instead, I've bought a simple refillable pump dispenser into which I can put my own olive oil.  

Plus, they are disgustingly expensive...nearly $5 for a can and there's only 100-170 ml of oil in a can, depending on could buy a whole lot more olive oil for that price.

The oil misters/ spray bottles are around $10, refillable and reusable, I've had mine for over a year and it is just now starting to get too cloggy to work. Great money-saving investment, a healthy way to cook, and extremely useful for making baked crispy-coated chicken!

4 Replies