Teflon a product that has become a household name in the last several decades was not originally developed for household use. The products chemical name polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE was accidently stumbled upon in 1938 by Dr. Roy Pluckett a chemist working with the DuPont corporation. Its original use was during the Manhattan project during World War II and was regarded as a military secret until after the war when DuPont began planning its commercial uses.
The non stick surface is very helpful in the kitchen because cooking requires lot less oil to move the food around in the pan. Since the non stick coating doesn’t allow many foods to stick clean up is also a breeze. One of the draw backs with Teflon is it requires plastic spatula to keep from scratching the coating. There has also been speculation of possible negative effects from using PTFE-coated cooking pans. If overheated in excess of 349 °C or 660 °F the PTFE coating begins to dissociate, releasing byproducts which can cause polymer fume fever in humans and can be lethal to birds.
Today most non stick pans do not always use Teflon. There are safe and useful alternatives to PTFE a mixture of titanium and ceramic, anodized aluminum, and other non-PTFE compounds. In later blogs I will go more into depth of safe alternatives to PTFE containing coatings.
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