Overview Description

Fumed silica is made by hydrolysis of chlorosilanes in an oxygen–hydrogen gas flame, according to a process developed by Degussa more than 60 years ago (Aerosil® Process). The product is a highly dispersed silicon dioxide.

Aerosil® is a colloidal form of silica that is a very light and fluffy powder. It is made by burning silicon tetrachloride in a hydrogen-oxygen furnace.

Silicon dioxide (SiO2), or silica, is known in nature as sand or quartz. It occurs naturally in the earth’s crust, and silicates are present in water, animals and plants. Silicates are also consumed as part of the natural human diet.

In the pharmaceutical industry, silicon dioxide (also known as colloidal silicon dioxide) has many uses in tablet-making: some include as an anti-caking agent, adsorbent, disintegrant, or glidant to allow powder to flow freely when tablets are processed. These compounds appear to be biologically inert. Silicon dioxide is generally recognized as safe by the FDA.

Benefits and Uses

Anti-caking agents are ingredients added in small amounts to foods, cosmetics, and more to prevent products from clumping and binding together. There are many different anti-caking ingredients with GRAS status on the market. Manufacturers choose the anti-caking agent to use based on product and consumer expectation.

Forms and Sources

Silica, Silicon Dioxide

Side Effects and Interactions

Re-evaluation of silicon dioxide (E 551) as a food additive

There was evidence for a low acute oral toxicity of SAS and for low toxicity; after repeated oral administration of SAS, no adverse effects were detected even at high dose levels up to 9,000 mg/kg body weight (bw) per day. Silicon dioxide (E 551) as a food additive did not raise a concern with respect to genotoxicity.

A long-term feeding study in rats and in mice indicated that SAS was not carcinogenic.


How to Label

Aerosil / Konasil as Silicon dioxide

Research & Studies (References)

Self-nanoemulsifying drug delivery systems (SNEDDS) and self-microemulsifying drug delivery systems (SMEDDS) as lipid nanocarriers for improving dissolution rate and bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs


Investigating the Interaction of Silicon Dioxide Nanoparticles with Human Hemoglobin and Lymphocyte Cells by Biophysical, Computational, and Cellular Studies

Therefore, it may be suggested that comprehensive details regarding the interaction of NPs and biological systems such as cells and proteins can provide useful information in the development of NP-based systems.


Effects of Anticaking Agents and Relative Humidity on the Physical and Chemical Stability of Powdered Vitamin C

Silicon dioxide and calcium silicate (50% w/w) and calcium stearate (at both ratios) were the only anticaking agents to improve the physical stability of powdered sodium ascorbate while none of the anticaking agents improved its chemical stability.


Effects of Maltodextrin and Silicon Dioxide Added as Anticaking Agents on the Properties of Instant Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Powder Using Spray Drying 

The addition of MD and SiO2 in spray dried IDPP improve the properties of the powder. The physicochemical properties and sensory acceptance score indicated the most suitable formula of IDPP production using a spray drying technique was with MD at 35.82%w/v and SiO2 at 0.73%w/w. These values provided the highest yield recovery, tapped density and sensory acceptance along with the lowest moisture content, bulk density and HG. Thus, the researchers conclude that the aforementioned values of MD and SiO2 will produce the best IDPP for commercial production and consumer consumption.


Food applications and the toxicological and nutritional implications of amorphous silicon dioxide


Effect of anticaking agents on caking and quality characteristics of garlic cream powder sauce

It was found that it can also be used as a reference for a particular method for improving the food processing and preservation techniques in the powder sauce industry.


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