When it comes to storage ware, materials like glass, plastic and stainless steel have always ruled the roost. Spoilt for choice, homemakers often wonder which of these three would be best suited for their specific kitchen needs. To ease out the dilemma, we've listed out some of their pros and cons, and have done so with the help of valuable insights shared by spokespersons from companies that deal in products made from these three materials.
Since times immemorial, in kitchens all over the globe, the habit of food being stored in a myriad of containers has prevailed. Food produced, bought or cooked in excess, needs to be stored for future use in a manner that safeguarded it from pests and preserves its freshness as much as possible.
In the good old days, food in India was stored in containers made of clay, terracotta, copper, brass, glass and stainless steel. Tin containers weren't tossed into the garbage, in middle class homes they were the medium to store food grains. Even back then, storage containers played a vital role, as our ancestors preferred to shop for annual provisions and used to store them in one go for all year consumption.
The scenario is very different today. With kitchens becoming more and more compact by the day, it's difficult to store more than a month's provisions at one go. That's why there's been a sea change in the way we store food, as well as the medium of storage. Reflective of that change is today's high-end storage ware, which boasts of sleek and light weight designs that are meant to be as fashionable as the chic modular kitchens of most contemporary homes.
When it comes to storage containers. the most popular materials are still plastic, glass and stainless steel, with plastic being the frontrunner in most cases. Let's look closely at each of these materials and help you best decide what suits your home and pocket.
Stainless Steel Storage
Old fashioned stainless steel is deemed to be safe as it doesn't contaminate the food you store within. Being non-toxic is also a something that works in favour of this material. It's durable and long lasting, relatively light and leak proof varieties are available as well. They however aren't microwave friendly but can be used on cook tops. They are dishwasher safe. Unlike glass, they are non-breakable. However, as they aren't see through, a homemaker cannot easily ascertain its contents and has to fumble through each of them to find what she's looking for. Stainless steel is preferred greatly among middle class homes but higher income groups generally consider it an outdated and not-so-glamorous material for their kitchen.
Glass store ware is breakable and difficult as far as portability is concerned. Also, many types of glass cannot be used in the dishwasher and microwave. Glass, however has many benefits. It is aesthetically appealing and refrigerator friendly. Some varieties may make do as bake ware, are leak proof and since they are transparent, they save a lot of time and energy when it comes to identifying food items.
Commenting on the glass store ware by Borosil, MD Shreevar Kheruka said “We have launched a range called Klip-N-Store, it has got a glass base and a lid of plastic which snaps in place, airtight. This will allow you to store food in the shelf, fridge or you can take it with you as a lunch box as it is spill proof. It is microwaveable and can be directly kept in the microwave. Our main focus has been on storage, either rectangular, square or circular shaped storages. These are basically smaller sized storages, the biggest that we have is with one or one and half litre capacity, in the future we plan to come up with bigger sizes for pulses, rice, and so on. The tumblers are normal glasses without lid. We will also launch a different type of lunchbox, a rectangular lunch box for children to be carried to school. We also have jars to store pickles or chutney.”
We are going to have a marketing campaign which is going to highlight the benefits of glass. Next year we will educate the customers as to why they should use glass and not plastic he added.
The spokesperson of Yera glass storage highlights more advantages simultaneously putting forth some ways wherein it has the upper hand over plastic, “Glass, unlike plastic, does not contain any harmful chemicals such as BPA, phthalates, PVC or polycarbonate. So, nothing can leach into what you're consuming from a glass bottle, furthering the taste aspect.
Anything poured from a glass container when compared to its plastic counterpart tastes better. Plastic tends to add a taste to whatever is stored inside it, especially if it has been stored for too long. Glass guards the taste of your food and beverage better than any other container. It never meddles with what's within. Flavourless and odour-free, glass exhibits the true flavour of your food and drinks. That's why a number of individuals admit that things just taste better in glass. Once a glass container is created, it remains 100-percent recyclable for life. The quality and purity never fades.”
When asked what the USP of his brand is, the spokesperson replies, “Yera products rank high on the quality scale, they are made of food grade glass, which is 100% recyclable and up to date with the current trends. The glass is pure and it stays that way. It's safe to use over and over again. Yera glass acts as a constant barrier to bacteria. Our beautiful packages are practically air-tight so they keep food and beverages fresh while protecting their natural vitamins and minerals. In one survey, a lot of individuals said glass is the healthiest packaging option because it doesn't leach anything into food or drinks.
Many debate that plastic, especially the low grade variety may have detrimental effects on health. The theory is that harmful chemicals leak from the plastic thereby contaminating the food. If heated, higher levels of toxins are believed to ooze out. Makers of up market plastic however argue that their products are absolutely safe.
Sunil Bhatnagar, Chief Manager of PearlPet, a premiere plastic company enlists the benefits of plastic as, “Plastic store wares are mainly used for food and storage and for home organization because of advantages over stainless steel or metal and glass storage. They are light in weight, unbreakable, odourless, durable, chemically resistance, cost effective, can be moulded into all kinds of shapes. They have excellent finishing, possess good shock absorption capacity, have transparency and have good barrier properties that protect and preserve the contents inside. They can be multi-coloured, have low thermal expansion and better insulating property, are cheap to produce as bulk quantity is produced in one time processing. To add to all this, they are refrigerator safe, can be reused and restored and are easy to carry and transport.” He also avers that plastic is safe, hygienic, microwave safe, recyclable and environment friendly.
When asked on the notable features of PearlPet, he says, “All PearlPET products are made up of 100% food grade and virgin materials like PET, PP or LDPE materials, strong, safe, sustainable, and chemical and BPA free, no leaching of chemicals in to the product is possible. It's leak proof, keeps food fresh and hygienic, with ergonomically designed bottles ideal for storing and carrying water and juices, reusable, recyclable, compact, durable, lightweight, having good barrier properties that protect and preserve the inside contents, with spill proof and liquid tight bottles ideal to carry water on the go and store, made with the state of the art technology, having stringent quality control and precision engineering to produce high end quality products, convenient to use and carry.”
Among the other plastic storeware companies highly popular in India is Tupperware. Mainly women sell the products through network marketing. Tupperware claims its special characteristic of being completely air-tight and leak-proof.
Whether you decide to adorn your kitchen cabinets with plastic, stainless steel or glass storage ware, is an individual choice entirely. But you can count on us to bring all the facts to your attention so you make the best possible choice.