Professional Melamine... Will it work for me?
In our catalogue of products, you will find many pieces made from a premium 100% melamine, which we often refer to as "Professional Melamine". Whether it's butcher trays, fine restaurant plates, buffet display bowls, cake stands, delicatessen displays, or casual dining tableware, there are instances where a food-grade melamine is an excellent choice and other times where a different material is preferable. This list of Frequently Asked Questions explains what the material is, how it works and what performance to expect in different conditions, so you can make an informed decision on what is best for your food service environment.
What is 100% Food Grade Melamine?
This type of melamine is made from three items:
- melamine resin - a chemical byproduct of petroleum;
- virgin paper pulp;
- titanium dioxide - used to create, enhance and retain colour
Unlike other products marketed as melamine, a 100% food-grade material does not contain fillers.
Is Melamine Safe?
A 100% melamine is food safe when used as recommended. When choosing a melamine product for your business, it is important to verify exactly the material that has been used to make it.
Euroswift exclusively recommends Dalebrook Professional Melamine for this reason. Dalebrook was the first company to stamp it's products with the "100% MF" icon - just one of the product care symbols you'll find on each of their products. This identification has now become the industry standard. Further, their products comply with all EU directives that ensure safety for use in food service environments and undergo regular independent testing to confirm this. The Dalebrook name is embossed on the base of every product they manufacture and all items are traceable to source.
Is Melamine Breakable?
Is anything completely unbreakable? Any melamine can be broken - however, a 100% professional melamine is stronger than one made with fillers.
Professional melamine is strong, with a typical impact strength four times that of porcelain or china. It won't shatter in the way that traditional materials do. Serrated knives and abrasive chemicals can scratch the material.
An increased life span thanks to the additional strength makes premium melamine pieces an excellent alternative to porcelain and china in a busy food service environment.
Can I put Melamine in the Microwave?
No - melamine is not suitable for use with direct heat - so it should not be used in the microwave or any other oven. Melamine pieces should not be heated while in contact with food.
For this reason, all of the Dalebrook Professional Melamine pieces are clearly marked with the "Do Not Microwave" product care symbol.
Is Melamine Dishwasher-safe?
Yes, 100% premium melamine withstands daily cleaning in commercial dishwashers. The material has excellent insulating and heat-retention properties, so they dry faster than other dinnerware.
To get the maximum life from your products, we recommend you avoid using harsh chemical, bleach and chlorine-based detergents in the dishwasher. Hand washing will give the very best results.
Does Melamine work with Heat and Cold?
Melamine is an excellent insulator - it's why it is a popular choice for children's dinnerware and also for aged care, as it remains cool to the touch when holding hot food or liquids. Hot food will stay hot for longer, as heat is not transferred into the material. The same applies for cold foods - warmth is not transferred to the food so it stays cold longer, making it a superior choice for cold and frozen desserts. With better temperature retention than ceramics and tempered glass, Dalebrook's Premium Melamine withstands food and drink temperatures from -20°C to 120°C.
Is Melamine for Me?
Understanding the properties is just one step in making a decision about melamineware for your business. Consider first whether it is a possibility - if you need to heat your plates in the microwave or oven, it's not for you. Otherwise, it's a valid choice that you can now weigh up against other options. For a butcher's display, a delicatessen, a supermarket, a bakery counter and a hotel buffet, there are many design choices that make products stand out, increasing sales. For table service at restaurants, or dinnerware for bistros and casual dining, the lighter weight of pieces - especially larger shared platters and bowls - is appealing to service teams. Caterers enjoy the portability of melamine dinnerware, with less damage during transport, along with easy clean up and handling. For aged care and healthcare providers, well-designed melamineware helps residents to dine with dignity, maintaining independence.
In summary -
- Not all melamine products are made from the same material - confirm your choice is 100% melamine if using with food, in both commercial and domestic environments, as this is the food-safe option. Verify the source of the products you consider and that they are suitable for your intended use
- Do not choose melamineware if you will use your pieces in the microwave or oven, or if you heat the food directly on the plate
- Professional melamine is durable, with high impact strength, chip, scratch and stain resistance, giving the products long life in food service businesses
- Melamine pieces are lighter in weight than other materials, for easy handling, without compromising on strength
- The insulating properties of melamine keep food at its temperature for longer than ceramics and glass and stops heat transfer to the outside of the bowl or cup
- Design options with melamine are unlimited, offering versatility in the presentation and serving of food in both retail and dining environments
- Professional melamine is often used in butcher counters, delicatessens, cake and bakery displays, and buffets and is chosen by retailers, hotels, caterers and restaurants for displaying, presenting and serving food.
- Euroswift recommends Dalebrook Premium Melamine for its design quality and verification of suitability and safety in food service settings