A nonstick blend that typically consists of vegetable oil and lecithin (or other emulsifier) packaged in an aerosol can. Such sprays prevent food from sticking to a pan, make cleanup easy and are a boon to health-conscious cooks who want to control fat. They come in several varieties, including canola oil, olive oil and butter-flavored oil. When spraying a pan, keep the surrounding area clean by doing so over the sink or open dishwasher door, both of which will be cleaned in the normal course of the day. Besides coating pans, use cooking sprays on any utensil or kitchen tool to keep foods from sticking for example, a cheese grater, knife blade, kitchen shears, a food processor interior, cookie cutter, and so on. The only caveat is never to use the spray near an open flame, which will cause it to ignite and flare up. Also called nonstick spray and vegetable cooking spray.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.