The Natural Silicon Dioxide Alternative
Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is a common ingredient in processed foods.
What is it?
According to Healthline, it is formed from silicon and oxygen, which are common chemical elements. Silicon dioxide is found in water, plants, animals and the earth, including quartz and other rocks, sand, and even human tissue. In food and supplements, it is used as an anti-caking agent to avoid clumping and help break up ingredients and powders.
Can it affect your health?
While silicon dioxide as a food additive has so far been found to be primarily safe, inhaling fine particles and silica dust can have health complications, including lung and breathing issues, according to Medical News Today. According to research from the European Food Safety Authority in 2018, nanoparticles from the substance could be problematic, and the research suggested lowering the limits for toxic elements present in silicon dioxide and changing the specifications to include particle size.
What is an alternative?
Bamboo has been the most extensively used plant resource among tribes in northeast India for many years.
After his travels in the region, Anand Swaroop, co-founder and Zenfuel formulator, looked into the possibility of using organic silica from the inner back of bamboo as a potential replacement for silicon dioxide. From his research, he found a process to produce 70% organic silica from bamboo, with a final product that contained 30% plant fibers in the form of lignans.
After completing a long-term stability study, Anand and his team are now ready to use this bamboo replacement in Zenfuel dietary supplements.
What is the health difference?
Organic silica from bamboo has a thicker texture than the very fine synthetic silica that can pass through lungs, and it digests much more quickly.