Melamine dinnerware is made of melamine resin which is a kind of hard plastic. Melamine is an organic base chemical most commonly found in the form of white crystals rich in nitrogen.* Melamine is mixed with organic compound and formaldehyde to produce melamine resin, a very durable plastic used to make melamine dinnerware.
Due to its affordability and chic style, melamine dinnerware was at its most popular in the 1950s and ‘60s. However, during that time melamine was subject to scratching and staining so it gradually became unpopular.
Today however, melamine dinnerware is extremely durable – highly resistant to heat, chipping, scratches, and breaking, qualities which SlatePlate.com has. Also they are more colorful today and come in a variety of designs and patterns.
Melamine is popular in casual gatherings where paper and thin plastic dinnerware is not suitable. Melamine dinnerware is especially popular in casual restaurants because it is lighter and more durable than china. And since they are nearly impossible to break, it’s easy to avoid replacing broken pieces. Due to its low risk of breakage, melamine is ideal for use in outside settings like poolside or on the beach, and also in barbeque areas. Also, plastic is an insulator so melamine dinnerware stays cool to the touch even when serving hot food. It protects diner servers and diners from getting burned. It is also relatively inexpensive compared to other non-disposable dinnerware. Another advantage is that because it is lightweight it makes service less heavy for staff to carry trays with food.
Even though it is relatively affordable than other dinnerware, it does not necessarily look cheap. There are high-end melanine dinnerwares that look like china. Melamine is versatile it can be made to look as expensive as porcelain.
Because it’s plastic, many have questioned if it is not hazardous to our health. Studies show that this type of plastic dinnerware is safe for use as long you don’t heat food in it. Studies also show that the chemicals in melamine dinnerware will not transfer into food as long as food is not too hot (160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher).
It is easy to clean as melamine dinnerware is dishwasher safe. It is not safe to heat food within the microwave though as melamine chemicals are more likely to transfer to food when it’s heated in the microwave. Melamine can cause kidney problems when consumed. If you need to serve heated food on melamine dinnerware, use a microwave-safe container to reheat it then transfer food to melamine dinnerware for serving.