The Foodservice & Packaging Institute has adopted a new “Standard Test Method to Qualify Single-Use Packaging for Use in Microwave Ovens.”

The new testing protocol is a major revision of a standard first adopted by the Institute in 1988, in conjunction with the Cornell University Department of Nutrition. The revised 2007 standard provides uniform guidelines to manufacturers to qualify single-use packaging products for use in consumer or institutional microwave ovens.

The 2007 standard was produced by a working group of the Institute’s Foodservice Packaging Standards Council. The working group was headed by Dr. Richard W. Siergiej, Ph.D., Leader, EPS Technology, at NOVA Chemicals. Dr. Siergiej and his working group, which included a representative of the International Microwave Power Institute, spent more than a year reviewing the original work done at Cornell, and revising and rewriting that microwave standard in keeping with current practices.

“This was one of those situations where we knew that microwave appliances had changed dramatically since 1988,” Dr. Siergiej said. “In like manner there have been significant improvements in materials and foodservice packaging as well. And, of course, there has been a dramatic rise in the use of food that is warmed, re-heated and cooked in microwave ovens. So, we had to take all of those factors into account as we produced this new up-to-date test procedure.”