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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT - TEFLON® The Teflon® The ubiquitous non-


stick frying pan – most people have one, along with other essential non-stick


cookware or bakeware.


Since the early 1960s, DuPont™ Teflon®


coatings have become synonymous with non- stick cookware – although there are other major manu-


facturers of non-stick coatings, notably


Whitford Plastics – but the Teflon®


trademark


is undoubtedly the best known by most


consumers worldwide. The original Teflon®


formula was discovered in 1938 and is not a by-product of the US


space programme, as many people believe.


Teflon® non-stick coatings for cookware


are based on food grade PTFE (polytetrafluo- roethylene), which is a high-performance fluoropolymer. The final cookware coating is a dried, durable, non-stick material which delivers the easy clean and non-stick performance we are all used to. DuPont™ says that Teflon®


non-stick coating systems


last seven times longer than cookware with ceramic or silicone coatings as well as being dishwasher and metal utensil safe. However, Teflon®


name. The Teflon®


is not a specific chemical or product brand represents a family


of high-performance products that are used in a wide variety of industrial applications as well as consumer applications.


Recently, a research team from the University of Toronto has raised doubts about the safety of Teflon®


and other similar substances used


to coat frying pans, cookware and ovens, and has called for a serious examination of the products because of the unknown long-term human health and environmental affects these substances may cause (www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-61407).


Researcher Dr David Ellis said: “We know that these compounds do not easily degrade and therefore we need to know more about what effect they are having. We have raised the question and pointed out the possible problems. Safety concerns are concentrated on the build- up of the compounds in the environment.”


24 SURFACE WORLD February 2014 read online @ www.surfaceworld.com non- stick frying pan


In answer to these concerns, DuPont states: “50 years of consumer use, along with laboratory testing and published peer- reviewed research, has affirmed that cookware made with Teflon®


non-stick coatings is safe


for both consumer and commercial use at normal cooking temperatures.


“Before the commercial introduction of Teflon® non-stick coatings for cookware, extensive laboratory testing was conducted to examine the safety of these coatings. Regulatory agencies in the United States and abroad have reviewed these findings,” says the company.


“To date, cooks in more than forty countries around the world have purchased over two billion pots and pans with Teflon®


brand non-


stick coatings for home and commercial use. In all of this experience, there has been no record of any significant human health problems.” (www2.dupont.com/Teflon/).


Whatever the pros and cons, there’s no doubt that today’s cooks and chefs find non-stick coatings invaluable.


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