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Traditional knives, spoons and forks can leave a bitter metallic aftertaste in the mouths of individuals undergoing chemotherapy, but a new line of injection molded composite flatware, primarily comprised of a proprietary plastic and fillers, eliminates any aftertaste while providing utensils that have the strength and weight of their metal counterparts.

PlasticsToday Staff

September 13, 2011

2 Min Read
Molded composite flatware protects food flavor

Traditional knives, spoons and forks can leave a bitter metallic aftertaste in the mouths of individuals undergoing chemotherapy, but a new line of injection molded composite flatware, primarily comprised of a proprietary plastic and fillers, eliminates any aftertaste while providing utensils that have the strength and weight of their metal counterparts.

Don Ladanyi's TruFlavorWare was recognized with the first ever Cool Idea! award from prototype and short-run production company Proto Labs (Maple Plain, MN). Proto Labs will provide the Westlake, OH inventor with prototyping and production services to help launch his product as part of the award.

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TruFlavorWare plastic composite flatware

A non-metallic, organic, taste-inert flatware, TruFlavorWare is designed to make food taste better by eliminating the aversive "taste-reactive" electro-chemical reactions caused by metal knives, forks and spoons. Ladanyi's product brings particular relief to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy by removing the bitter metallic aftertaste that often occurs when trying to eat with standard metal flatware.

A Proto Labs spokesperson told PlasticsToday that Ladanyi would prefer to keep the material proprietary, but did note that the utensils are injection molded under a set of very specific guidelines to avoid sink and warping.

Ladanyi's TruFlavorWare epiphany came while dining with chopsticks, as he realized that the neutrality of bamboo enhanced the flavor of his food. In addition to its taste-inert properties, TruFlavorWare is BPA-free, and made from a highly durable, FDA approved, proprietary composite material that has been ergonomically designed and weighted to approximate the haptics of stainless steel flatware. Compared to light-weight single-use plastic flatware, TruFlavorWare is totally dishwasher-safe. In an early beta-test, a random panel of 100 tasters preferred TruFlavorWare over regular metal flatware by 2:1.

The Cool Idea! Award program was created by ProtoLabs to give product designers the opportunity to bring innovative products to life. TruFlavorWare is the first recipient, with additional recipients to be named. Throughout the course of this year, Proto Labs will provide an aggregate of up to $100,000 worth of prototyping and short-run production services to award recipients. Proto Labs is a quick-turn manufacturer of low-volume CNC machined and injection molded custom parts for prototyping and short-run production.

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