Features of plastic products
Plastic tableware is nowadays considered indispensable. If you’re going on a picnic or a camping trip, many users prefer to take exactly these containers with them. Besides, products help when there is no possibility to serve a table with traditional kitchenware.
The popularity of utensils made of food plastic is due to a number of its advantages:
- When you need to host a large number of guests, plastic dishes are cheaper than traditional ceramic or glass ones.
- The lightweight plastic containers are best for taking snacks to work or school.
- Capacities are lightweight and can be compactly folded for transportation without the risk of damage on the road.
- At children’s parties, you can not be afraid that some of the children will break a glass or plate and hurt themselves. Products are completely safe.
- Utensils do not need to be washed, which facilitates cleaning after the event.
Despite the convenience of use, products have certain disadvantages:
- Not all containers can be reused.
- Relatively high cost, taking into account the disposable use.
- Poor quality utensils can give off toxic substances.
- Not all plastics are suitable for hot dishes.
Choose the containers, taking into account the marking on the plastic utensils. By this you can determine not only the type of raw material from which the product is made, but also the purpose of the utensils. You should not ignore these signs, it is the only way to protect yourself from the risk of buying non-food plastic.
If there are no numbers and icons on the utensils, they should not be used for eating. Most likely, such products are not certified and do not meet GOST, and during their manufacture toxic raw materials were used.
Plastic dishes are compact and lightweight
Plastic dishes are often used for outdoor recreation
Plastic Food Labeling Types of Marks 2020
Not all plastic is suitable for food packaging and storage. Many kinds of plastic are not safe: they emit harmful substances that make food unsuitable for eating and can even lead to health problems.
The plastic label is shown on every container in the triangle, but not everyone pays attention to it. Why these signs are so important to us?
Labeling of plastics for food products
Every day, more and more food is being packaged in plastic containers. It’s lightweight, cheap, convenient, durable, washable and reusable. However, there are some disadvantages, including the poor quality of plastic: if it does not meet the necessary safety class, it is prohibited to store food in such containers.
On any plastic package, the type of plastic used to create the container is labeled. The designation has a triangular shape, called a Mobius loop. It consists of 3 arrows that form a closed figure, which is embossed on the container and indicates whether the plastic is suitable for further recycling.
Detailed illustration of plastic labeling
There may also be an indication in the marking that the container itself is made from recycled material. All information symbols on plastic containers are embossed on the packaging, rather than drawn, making it virtually impossible to forge.
Food plastic labeling
There are several kinds of plastic, which differ in their properties and purpose. At least 6 types are known which are used most often for food packaging. Other types of plastic are grouped into the OTHER group (other).
PET or PETE. 1
Polyethylene terephthalate is one of the most popular types.
PET packaging sells beverages, shampoos, oils. Even food storage containers are often made of this type of plastic. In addition, many people reuse this packaging, even though experts advise against it.
Doctors say that PET is toxic and contains heavy metals. Frequent drinking from PET bottles leads to hormonal imbalance, and open bottles accumulate huge amounts of bacteria and alkalis.
These packages are marked inside a triangle with the symbol 01.
HDPE or PE HD
Polyethylene is produced under low pressure. It is used to make a variety of caps, canisters and packaging for household chemicals.
- high strength and density;
- absolute non-toxicity;
- Inability to accumulate harmful substances;
This type of plastic is considered safe. High-density polyethylene, for example, is used for packaging milk. It retains all the useful properties of the product and prevents the growth of pathogenic agents.
However, buying drinks and food for children in HDPE containers is not recommended. к. Polyethylene is capable of releasing carcinogenic formaldehyde.
PCV or V (PVC). 3
PVC is not suitable for food storage. It is commonly used for packaging medicines and cosmetics, and is also used for window frames and shrink wrap.
PCV may contain mercury, cadmium, and various dioxins. Food and drinks should not be allowed to come into contact with this type of plastic, which is coded with the numbers 03.
LDPE or PEBD. 4
LDPE polyethylene is created by applying high pressure and is used to make bags, food films, and soft packs. Not completely safe, but not a serious health hazard.
LDPE products are marked with numbers 04 and are suitable for recycling and overproduction.
PP (PP). 5
Polypropylene is relatively safe and is used to create cups for yogurt, syrups, baby food, buckets, packaging for lenses and some other products.
PP contains practically no harmful substances, and is characterized by high resistance to temperature changes. This type of plastic is labeled 05.
Polystyrene (PS) is available in both foamed and plain forms and is used for meat liners, semi-finished products and disposable cups.
Regular polystyrene is used to make CDs and yogurt cups.
Among the disadvantages of PS are the following:
VERIFY: Is it safe to microwave food in plastic containers?
Containers marked 06 are not recommended for repeated use and are not suitable for the storage and consumption of hot drinks and food.
O or OTHER. 7
For food and beverages containers marked with 07 are made of different types of plastic that do not fit into anything else. An interesting fact is that plastic O (polycarbonate) is the most toxic and dangerous, but it is used most often to create food containers.
The toxicity of polycarbonate is so high that using it to store food can lead to hormonal failure.
What plastic is not recyclable?
We live in a time when it is simply necessary to separate garbage into paper, plastic, glass and food waste at a minimum. But not all plastic is suitable for recycling, so plastic waste undergoes a second stage of sorting, in which unusable polymer is recycled.
PET, LDPE, PP, HDPE are best suited for recycling.
Have low recycling potential for 3 types of plastic:
What is BPA Free??
Under the acronym BPA stands for Bisphenol A, an organic chemical compound that is used to harden plastics. This substance has a Class 3 level of impact on the human body, which is called “moderately hazardous substances”.
Bisphenol A is found in plastics labeled 03 and 07.
The negative effects of BPA on the body are enormous. Bisphenol A slows down metabolism, interferes with endocrine and thyroid function and, according to some reports, provokes oncological processes.
BPA Free means BPA free, so it is safe. However, you should pay attention to the labeling, because the class of plastic also matters.
How to avoid BPA in your body?
If there is no BPA Free label on the container or packaging, you can avoid BPA by following these simple rules.
- Do not store food in plastic containers and containers with m BPA.
- Do not heat food in containers not labeled BPA Free.
- Use only glass containers for storing and heating food.
- Do not reuse plastic containers.
- Avoid eating canned foods, especially those in tin cans.
- Do not buy food products with damaged packaging.
Very often BPA-free plastics are used to make children’s toys which kids love to put in their mouths. Therefore, when buying products and food for children, you should either choose alternative materials or look for plastics that are labeled BPA Free.
It is best to pay attention to products with this indication and choose them.
Modern life is hard to imagine without plastic. Plastic containers eliminate the need to put pots and pans in the fridge, they are convenient for taking lunch to work and reheating it in the microwave.
Products and drinks in plastic containers are inexpensive. They are easy and convenient to transport, and plastic liners and bottles can be reused. But when buying you should always pay attention to marking and choose a safe type of plastic with the indication BPA Free.
What else should you look out for??
Sometimes the cookware material is perfectly safe for the dishwasher, but its parts are not. A prime example are stainless steel lids with a temperature sensor or pans with wooden handles.
Before you load a plastic container into the machine, you should make sure it’s free:
Not only will such items not survive the wash, but they can clog the sprinkler nozzles and drain filter. Also keep in mind that food containers are lightweight, a stream of water can easily knock them down when washing. If you can’t put the tray down securely, use a clothespin to hold it in place.
Symbols on tableware: deciphering the marking you need to know
In today’s world, plastic is an indispensable material for the manufacture of tableware. But the quality of plastic varies and the rules for using such dishes may vary depending on the type of material. So that the user knows how to use this or that container manufacturers leave special marks on dishes, which give the necessary information.
Which utensils are suitable
The main criterion for choosing a container to be used for an ultrahigh frequency oven is the material’s heat resistance. And if the cookware will include refractory qualities, it will be ideal for cooking.
The microwave is capable of heating the contents inside up to 100 degrees, which is the boiling point of the liquid. Heat-resistant cookware can be held up to 140 degrees. As for the containers with refractory qualities, the heating temperature can reach up to 300 degrees.
What kind of ovenware can be used in the microwave oven?
- Made of refractory glass. It’s not just a hardened material, it has refractory qualities that make it ideal for use in ultra-high frequency cooking. The walls of such dishes are made strong and thick, so the material is not exposed to excessive heat during cooking. Do not use glassware with thin walls in the microwave oven. It will crack after the first or second use. Can I put glass cookware in the microwave?? Yes, but only with thicker walls.
- Made of faora. Nearly every other piece of cookware made from faora is subject to microwave use. The exception may be dishes that are coated with gilding.
- Glazed ceramics. Dishes are used for quick heating and for cooking various foods. Ceramic microwave ovens can be used for frying eggs without oil, and the result is perfect. The only drawback will be the strong heat of the material, so don’t forget to use oven mitts.
- Made of glass ceramic. This material is one of the most common. It combines the heat resistance of glass with the beauty of ceramic dishes. All these combine to give excellent performance. Use this type of dishes can be used for heating and cooking.
- Made of paper. Of course, such containers cannot be used repeatedly. Disposable dishes placed in the microwave is great for reheating purchased food in stores.
- Cotton-based cloths. This material is often wrapped in flour products. Napkins help to preserve the aroma of baked goods, and after reheating the cupcake or cake will not become dry.
- Made of plastic. Contrary to frequent doubts, it is possible to heat food in plastic dishes. This applies to containers. Nowadays they are available in a wide variety. this is not the only positive side. But you can put plastic dishes in the microwave if you only need to reheat the food. As plastic heats up, it can produce substances that can harm the food. As a result, cooked food cannot be called healthy. Perfect for microwave and freezer use since they won’t warp under the influence of temperature. An additional positive side of such dishes is that it is not afraid of sharp temperature fluctuations.
- Made of heat-resistant plastic film. This material does not melt or deteriorate under the influence of microwaves. Plastic film and transparent foil are especially popular today. They have tiny holes that allow steam to escape during cooking, thus creating a sauna effect inside the container. They can be used instead of a lid and they can keep the temperature of the food cooked for a long time after cooking.
- Made of silicone. This material is used for molds, which are useful for baking. They can be used to make muffins, cakes and muffins.
Plastic All of these are heat-resistant and can be heated in microwave ovens. Special attention should be paid to containers with semi-finished products. On the packaging, you can often see a marking that the product is already ready to be placed in the microwave without additional packaging.
If the food does not contain fat, water or sugar, you can use wax paper packages for reheating. Such wrappers are used exclusively for heating. Paper containers are coated with a layer of wax on top, but if exposed to high temperatures, it will melt and get on the food.
For additional containers of other microwave materials, see the table below.
|Packaging/ware||Microwave mode||Grill mode|
|aluminium foil||Do not||Can|
|Wax paper||Can||Can not|
|Wooden dishes||For short reheating times||Cannot|
|Food containers made of stone||Available from||Can|
|Regular plastic bags||Cannot||Not possible|
|Plastic bags for cooking||Can, but vents must be made before cooking||Can not|
|Food containers||Can for fast heating||Not|
Choice of shape
Every housewife wants her food to not only be aromatic but also tasty. It is not only the material that determines the result, but also the shape of the dish. In order to achieve a uniform and proper heating of the food, it is recommended to settle on plates of cylindrical or oval shape. From the square or rectangular containers, it is better to refuse, because the cooking will be long and the food itself is overdrying. To make sure the food heats up quickly and evenly, it’s best to choose plates with low edges and a wide base.
Microwave ovens have long lost the status of a technique that is used by bachelors, these electric helpers are able to surprise everyone. And if you consider the large range of models, you can count on a huge range of tasks performed. The combination of a microwave oven and the right cookware will make you forget about the conventional gas stove. It should be taken into account that individual products are cooked on specific cookware, for example:
- For cooking pasta or porridge it is better to choose containers with extended sides on top. Plates should be high enough so that the liquid doesn’t leak out while cooking.
- Cupcakes, cakes, loaves and pies require an oblong shape in the container and necessarily high rims. The dough begins to rise when cooked and it is the rims that keep it from spilling out.
- A medium-high plate is best for aromatic fruit and vegetables. Keep in mind that these foods shrink during cooking and release juice that will evaporate.
It is not recommended to cook or heat in a cookware with uneven or oblique edges, as the result of heating will be uneven. A plate that is mismatched will often heat up in the microwave, but the food will not. Many people write this off to the quality of technology, but as it turns out the problem is only in the right shape.
What is the sign on the dishes for the microwave?
On the back, bottom, and lid of the cooking utensils can be found various symbols. They are put on the walls or labeled. This is where you will be able to see the icon that indicates the possibilities of its use. What signs on dishes for the microwave tell about safety:
- A square with a few waves drawn inside. 2, 3 or 5;
- Microwave oven safe (MICRO) label;
- microwave schematically, the usual image, the inside is marked with wavy lines, the dishes are visible;
- The text Recommended microwave;
- The painted plate. cup, another type of crockery, there are several wavy lines above the container.
Often manufacturers put several icons at the same time, the text is usually written in English. If you do not see the marking, then this is an occasion to consider another option, refusing to experiment. You should also refuse to buy if the marking is crossed out.
Food plastic has become very popular in recent years. Many people appreciate these products, going on picnics or using disposable dishes for special occasions. Cookware made of plastic has certain advantages:
- If you need to set the table for a large number of guests to buy disposable products is much cheaper than reusable.
- These containers are very light, so they can be transported, they do not break during transportation.
- Can be used at banquets with children without fear of broken dishes splinters.
And while there are many advantages of these products, they have certain disadvantages. Among them:
- Not reusable.
- High price of the product.
- Some products emit harmful substances, especially if used improperly.
Not everyone knows, but disposable tableware has its own signs and symbols. The marking on plastic tableware means not only the material of manufacture, but also for what purposes the item can be used. It is not recommended to disregard these signs because they protect human health and life.
It is not recommended to use containers that do not have signs on them. Most likely this means that they do not meet the requirements of GOST. It is possible that non-food plastic was used in the production of these containers.
Requirements for plastic tableware
Choose plastic utensils very carefully, because different types of such utensils can be harmful to human health.
The marking on the dishes is particularly important. It must confirm the fact that the container is allowed to be used for food and drinks. It is also important that the container is not afraid of high or low temperatures. This will allow you to store containers with food in the freezer and reheat in the microwave oven.
The differences in plastics.
The appearance of plastic dishes also plays an important role. Such containers have a variety of shapes and colors, which makes them aesthetically appealing. Do not choose deformed products or those in which foreign materials are present.
The material from which the dishes are made must be resistant to fats, acids and alkalis. This will allow the repeated use of dishes for different dishes and will not allow the mixing of different smells and tastes.
Plastic forks and knives must be resilient enough to avoid breaking while slicing and dicing food. If the right material is used to make the cutlery, a plastic knife can easily replace a metal one.
Roomy and compact plastic containers will also help save space in the refrigerator.