Melamine Information

Is Melamine Microwave Safe?

Why is melamine not considered safe to use in the microwave? Melamine is an insulator and not a conductor of heat or cold. This means that when melamine is heated in the microwave, it will stay hotter longer than the food in most circumstances. The chemical properties of melamine promote thermal insulation and have low opportunities for transferring thermal energy. Insulation is an excellent quality to have in a buffet or cafeteria cold well, but it is not ideal when reheating food items.

The chemical properties of melamine allow temperatures as cold as -22 degrees Fahrenheit and as hot as 185 degrees Fahrenheit without breakage. According to the FDA website, melamine will not migrate or transfer into food unless it is heated above 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Melamine is known for its low acute toxicity and is not classifiable according to its carcinogenicity in humans. The FDA has concluded that under normal use conditions, melamine migration can be 10 parts per billion parts of the food item, which is well below the risk level.

Another reason behind melamine’s microwave restrictions stems from the degradation of the product when exposed to high heat for extended periods of time. Due to the material properties of melamine, the wood pulp being the base component, it is not recommended for use in the microwave. Wood pulp is porous, and the moisture content greatly affects the durability of each piece. When melamine is repeatedly exposed to temperatures above 185 degrees Fahrenheit, the pieces dry out and begin to weaken, which correlates to shorter service life.

Microwaves, heat lamps, and convection ovens are all extremely damaging to melamine long term and typically will void your warranty. Normal wear and tear can be kept low by maintaining enough stock to keep the recommended three dinnerware sets per daily guest count. This 3-to-1 rule keeps your guests from having to use wet plates or bowls and allows the pieces proper time for cleaning between use. If all manufacturer recommendations are followed closely, your replacement rate should only be 10%-20% of your melamine annually.

Resources: https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm199525.htm

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Melamine Information

Faux vs. Real

Stoneware, wood, and cast iron have become a staple in food service applications. With modern technology and materials, the food industry has adapted to using melamine, which has a similar aesthetic as naturally made alternatives, but without the cost. Melamine has become an unrivaled low-cost substitute for the fast-paced food service industry. Using melamine instead of naturally sourced elements benefits the environment as well as restauranteurs.

One problem with using real wood instead of melamine is bacteria which resides on porous surfaces. Health departments prohibit the use of wood in most establishments due to safety issues. Although the look of wood is beautiful, the sanitary concerns are problematic. The cost of wood scales with supply and demand. If you select only the best-looking pieces, be prepared to pay a high price. Another issue with real wood is the lifespan of your tableware. Wood has the shortest life span due to warping, staining, and dulling. To protect your staff and prevent workplace injuries, consider replacing wood pieces with lightweight melamine faux wood. Natural wood is known to be much heavier than melamine and causes splinters, ouch!

Stone, while stunningly beautiful, is known to be one of the heaviest options for serve ware. Granite, slate, marble, and other forms of stoneware can be twice as dense as melamine without the added benefit of durability. These natural options are environmentally troublesome due to limited supply, cost of production, and disposability. The average melamine plate will outlast its porcelain counterparts when it comes to signs of wear, use, and abuse. A simple drop test would prove that melamine is shatterproof, chip-resistant, and superior at maintaining its like-new appearance. 

While cast iron provides a unique look for your cuisine, it is known to be extremely hard to care for and wash. Each time you use and clean a cast iron pan, you must re-season with flaxseed oil to maintain a non-stick surface. The maintenance doesn’t stop there, every so often you’re required to season your dull or patchy skillet with a routine cycle of heating and oiling. This process can be avoided by replacing those cumbersome skillets with faux melamine cast iron. Preserve that rustic look and feel without sacrificing your precious time and resources. EGS melamine faux cast iron is lighter, easier to clean, and doesn’t rust!   

Melamine is superior in the following ways.

  • Lighter – Melamine is lighter than natural elements such as wood, stone and iron which reduces employee fatigue and injuries.
  • Less Expensive – Compared to traditional materials such as stoneware, cast iron, and wood products, melamine has very low overhead costs. Additionally, EGS melamine is scratch and chip resistant and shatterproof which greatly lowers the need for replacements.
  • Easier to Clean – Melamine is commercial dishwasher safe, much faster, and simpler to clean than porous natural elements such as wood or stone.
  • Durable – During production, EGS melamine is cured with strengthening compounds, becoming a shatterproof substance perfect for indoor and outdoor dining.
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Melamine Use & Care

Use and Care

MELAMINE USE & CARE

  • Melamine is not to be used in the microwave or oven.

  • For best results, use only non-abrasive plastic pads or a plastic-type bristle to clean or remove dried food. 

  • Harsh or abrasive cleaners, steel wool or metal scouring pads are not recommended for melamine products.

  • Melamine is commercial dishwasher safe. However, on low temp dishwashers, avoid excessive use of chlorine over 100ppm, or bleach.

  • Please consult your chemical specialist for the best solution made specifically for use on melamine and other plastic products.

  • Pre-soak melamine products, if necessary, in a high quality pre-soak dishwashing detergent.

  • Serrated knives will damage products over time.

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