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Publication & News

Tupperware Takes the Heat



Today's kitchen innovations are all about saving space. Since Tupperware and cooking pans are arguably the kitchen’s most clutter-prone items, we took interest in FoldTuk Bake Ware, which collapses to a one inch height. And because the products are made of silicone and ceramber (that's a silicone and ceramic blend), they can be used in both a microwave and regular oven.

You’d also have a really hard time breaking them.

FoldTuk Introduces Foldable Bakeware

By Andrea Lillo

NEW YORK–Using a proprietary ceramic compound called Ceramber, FoldTuk Kitchenware has introduced a collapsible bakeware product that combines the foldability of silicone with the heat transferring abilities of Ceramber. To be showcased at the International Home & Housewares Show, FoldTuk can be used in the oven, microwave and freezer, store food and be washed in the dishwasher. When not in use, it can collapse down to a height of 1 inch for easy storage.

FoldTuk is a division of E&M Engineering Inc., a company that developed the materials that became Ceramber when it worked on a heat sink for Lucent Technologies, said Duncan Fung, president. The company saw that the material transferred heat better than silicone, Fung said. As his wife was “always complaining about shelf space” and Ceramber was food safe, FoldTuk was born. But it’s only the beginning, said George Arnold, director and chief executive officer, and more than 10 housewares products will launch this year under FoldTuk Kitchenware.

The product is constructed with a Ceramber rim and bottom, as heat transfers faster from the bottom in an oven, Fung said, with a clear, foldable silicone middle and cover. The company tested the product recently, which began selling on a Web site for the recreational vehicle industry. In March, it will also launch on a national cable shopping channel.

Initially the product is available in four- and six-cup sizes, in rectangle or oval shapes, and with retails between $14 and $22.

In addition, the company said that manufacturing FoldTuk requires less energy than making ceramic or glass products, so it is eco-friendly as well.

New FoldTuk™ Bakeware- The New Revolutionary Bakeware

FoldTuk™ Bakeware, the first and only collapsible bakeware, is being introduced by FoldTuk™ Kitchenware, a division of E&M Engineering, Inc., Richmond, Va.

FoldTuk™ is a revolutionized bakeware that does it all. This non-breakable bakeware can be used in all conventional ovens and microwave ovens as well. FoldTuk™ is an air tight baking storage container possessing its most impressive feature, having enough body to stand erected on its own and the capability of collapsing to one inch high, saving valuable shelf "SPACE."

FoldTuk™ has many features combined into one product, so it saves money by avoiding the purchase of several different kitchenware products that FoldTuk™ offers as one. Furthermore, FoldTuk™ is smartly designed with designer colors, matching existing personal dinnerware sets, and can be taken directly to the dining table. Need more space in your kitchen cupboards? FoldTuk™ is your answer! With FoldTuk’s single touch collapsible feature, you will have space you never thought you had. Save time in preparing meals with FoldTuk™ due no thawing time or wasting time transferring meals from one container to another. The same container goes from the freezer, to the oven, to the dining table.

FoldTuk™ bakeware is non-stick and the center body and top lid are highly translucent for easy viewing of its contents. FoldTuk™ is strong and rigid enough for your day to day baking needs. FoldTuk™ is dish soap and dishwasher safe and withstands the sterilization cycle to ensure bacteria free use.

FoldTuk™ is currently available in standard round sizes of four and six cup. Suggested retail price of four-cup is $14.00 and $20.00 for the six-cup. Other new products and designs coming soon.

International Patents are pending.

For complete information contact:
Customer Service
FoldTuk™ Kitchenware
1705 Dabney Road
Richmond, VA 23230
Phone (804) 353-7160
Fax (804) 353-7161
sales@FoldTuk.com,
www.FoldTuk.com

Alumnus creates collapsible bakeware

The list of innovations from Ohio State alumni has a new addition - collapsible bakeware.

FoldTuk bakeware, which was invented by Ohio State alumnus Duncan Fung, collapses to a fraction of its height and can handle nearly any cooking or cooling temperature.

The containers can be used to cook food up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and can go directly to the refrigerator or freezer, then to the dishwasher.

The containers can also go straight from the freezer to the oven without shattering like ceramic bakeware.

Unlike petroleum-based plastics that tend to release toxicity, change color or shrink when they hit high temperatures, FoldTuk bakeware maintains its shape forever, Fung said.

Fung, who graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, said he first got the idea for inventing multi-purpose bakeware after hearing his wife complain about the inconvenience of ceramic containers.

He used a material he had invented, called ceramber, to invent a multi-purpose, space saving-container that would be both durable and flexible.

Ceramber is an eco-friendly product that Fung developed out of a ceramic and silicone compound. Production of the material requires only about 20 percent of the energy needed to produce Pyrex, Fung said.

The ceramber in FoldTuk also helps cook food faster and is a naturally non-stick surface.

"Corningware has the tendency to stick on the product," Fung said. "Ceramber is a silicone base; it has a very low friction, creating a natural slick surface."

FoldTuk bakeware are available in two sizes and four shapes - round, rectangular, square and oval.

"All shapes are the same price and are available in blue, red, black and orange," Fung said.

Although they are not available in stores yet, Fung said selling several thousands in minutes on "QVC" last March gave him the encouragement to promote the products elsewhere. Now, FoldTuk bakeware is sold on www.target.com, www.amazon.com and www.foldtuk.com.

To promote the bakeware, Fung is holding a contest on the Foldtuk Web site to find the most creative video about how people use their collapsible containers. Finalists will get their video posted on the Web site and people will vote online for the winner. The top prize winner will receive $500 and the second prize winner will receive $250. Both the first and second place winners will also get full sets of FoldTuk containers. The contest will run until the end of the year.



Photo courtesy of FoldTuk
OSU alumnus Duncan Fung invented FoldTuk, bakeware that collapses.

No, Honey, We Don't Need to Remodel the Kitchen

Duncan Fung, inventor of FoldTuk food containers, could not only transform the kitchenware industry -- he could save millions of marriages!

Every married man in the United States needs to get down on his hands and knees and kiss the feet of Duncan Fung. The Richmond inventor has given us the perfect "out" for that moment, inevitable in every marriage, when the wife says, "Honey, we need a bigger kitchen." Now we can say, "No we don't, dear. We need FoldTuk Kitchenware."

In Duncan Fung's case, necessity was the mother of invention. His wife had identified a problem experienced by millions of American families: Glass bakeware dishes and plastic storage containers, she complained, took up too much space in their kitchen cabinets.

Fung, who worked at Lucent Technologies at the time, began working on a solution. He combined a ceramic compound he had developed at Lucent with silicone to create a material that was flexible yet held its shape, could withstand cooking temperatures up to 500 degrees, and could go from freezer to oven without shattering. With this material, Fung designed containers that could collapse to the shape of a one-inch-thick pancake for storage but be retracted to the shape of a Tupperware container to hold food – in essence, collapsible bakeware.

Fung, who has a patent pending on his invention, has built a nine-employee company around the product. Richmond-based FoldTuk Kitchenware has outsourced manufacturing to China, concentrating its efforts on product development and marketing. The company has sold about 25,000 of the units this year, mostly through the QVC television shopping network, and expects to reach 60,000 units by the end of the year – enough to generate about $500,000 in sales. FoldTuk products can be purchased locally at the Compleat Gourmet (353-9606) in Carytown.

FoldTuk is shifting to a more Internet-based marketing strategy, selling through its own Web site as well as QVC.com, Amazon.com and Target.com. "It is easier to do this on the Web now," Fung told Greg Gilligan, who profiled him for the Times-Dispatch. "We don't have to worry about supplying each store at this point. That demands so much resources. Once we get to stores, that will take us to a whole different level."

Fung is working to take the product to Europe and Japan, where kitchen spaces are smaller. He has signed a distributor for Japan. Long-term, his goal is to build a brand name for FoldTuk like CorningWare or Pyrex.

If we Americans come to regard Fung as a national hero, just think of how he will be regarded overseas. Husbands in Europe and Japan will treat him like a demigod.

Collapsible FoldTuk bakeware builds brand

Duncan Fung got the message loud and clear from his wife.

She complained to him about 1½ years ago that glass bakeware dishes and plastic storage containers took up too much space in their kitchen cabinets.

"I told her maybe I will come up with something," he said.

So Fung invented collapsible bakeware.

The FoldTuk Kitchenware can go into the microwave or traditional oven -- it can withstand heat up to 500 degrees -- and can be used as a serving dish and storage container. The plasticlike dish can go from freezer to a hot oven without shattering, melting or burning, he said.

The containers, which Fung said have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, come in two sizes (holding either 4 cups or 6 cups of food) and four different shapes (round, oval, square or rectangle).

The containers stand about 3½ inches tall when extended and 1-inch tall when folded. "It's great for storage," Fung said.

Fung took a ceramic compound that he had developed -- called ceramber -- and combined it with silicone. Ceramber, he said, is sturdier than silicone, so the containers don't lose their shape like other silicone bakeware products do.

Fung developed what became ceramber when he worked for Lucent Technologies in the early 1990s. He has a patent pending on FoldTuk, which is manufactured in China.

His budding Richmond-based company with nine employees, located off Dabney Road, has sold about 25,000 FoldTuks this year, mostly through the QVC television shopping network. The Compleat Gourmet shop in Carytown also sells them.

He expects to sell about 60,000 more units by the end of this year, generating about $500,000 in sales.

The 6-cup FoldTuk has a suggested retail price of $24.99; the 4-cup is $15.99.

FoldTuks are in only a few small U.S. retailers now.

Fung is concentrating on selling them through his company's Web site, FoldTuk.com, as well as QVC.com, Amazon.com and Target.com. Target's bricks-and-mortar stores do not carry the dishes.

"It is easier to do this on the Web now," he said. "We don't have to worry about supplying each store at this point. That demands so much resources. Once we get to stores, that will take us to a whole different level."

Fung also realizes that his company needs to spend more time educating consumers about FoldTuk.

"We are trying to build a name for FoldTuk like CorningWare and Pyrex have," he said, referring to the leading ceramic and glass bakeware dishes.

Fung has big plans for FoldTuk. More housewares products using the material should be available this year.

This fall, for instance, he hopes to sell a roaster that can hold up to a 16-pound turkey. The container would be 8 inches tall when fully expanded and would collapse to less than 3 inches tall.

Plans call for FoldTuk products to be sold in Japan and Europe, where kitchen space is often at a premium. "We think that could be a big market for us," he said.

Fung has signed a distributor in Japan. QVC is expected to air a segment on FoldTuks in Japan, England and Germany this fall.

Keep home cooking fresher, longer

Proponents of slow-cooking techniques, unadulterated foods and the 100-mile diet hope that society will embrace these trends, and that as they do, there will be a commensurate decline in highly processed foods, excess packaging and disposable containers.

For home cooks who've already caught the bug, the shift often translates into cooking with more natural ingredients, frequently bought in bulk, and preparing large-batch recipes that are then frozen into family-size portions for later use. In families that in the past ate lots of prepared food and used disposable containers freely, the change of habit can bring about a challenge – where to put all these nutritious and delicious homemade foods? Several food storage products, some classic and some new, offer solutions.

Over time, as more and more food storage products were made out of plastic, Pyrex glass containers gained a bit of a reputation for being heavy and old-fashioned. But the brand, around since 1915, may be gaining interest from a new generation of users, who are concerned about the health effects of cooking and storing food in plastic containers.

Pyrex is made from tempered glass. Tempering is a thermal process that increases the strength of glass so if it breaks, it shatters into small fragments rather than large, jagged pieces. It also means it can be taken from the freezer to the microwave or oven, and it's dishwasher safe.

There are, however, a couple of rules. It should not, for example, be exposed to sudden temperature changes; that means pre-heating the oven before you put a Pyrex dish in, for example. If you buy Pyrex (or any other transferrable bakeware), read the instructions carefully before using it.

Some Pyrex lines now come with airtight plastic lids that have small vents that allow steam to escape while being reheated in the microwave. A 10-piece set of this type sells for about $42. Pyrex products are available at Loblaws, Home Outfitters and Caynes. You can also get product information at shopworldkitchen.ca.

Many of you may live in homes like mine, in which lids from hard plastic storage containers mysteriously disappear (perhaps they're hiding with all the lost mates of socks that come out of the dryer). For folks like us, Rubbermaid came up with a neat new design; lids that snap to the bottom of each container. A 20-piece set sells for about $20 at such retailers as Canadian Tire.

Preparing more home cooking requires keeping staples on hand. If you buy items such as grains, legumes and nuts in bulk, you'll cut down on packaging. But you'll need a way to store these necessities, and if you keep them on a kitchen counter-top or on open shelving, you'll want them to look attractive. For that reason, I like Quattro Stagioni glass jars, made by Italian manufacturer Bormioli Rocco and distributed in Canada by Trudeau. Prices range from between $3.50 to $5..

I also like Ikea's Burken line. These nicely-shaped glass jars, which come in three sizes, are inexpensive (starting at about $3), so buying enough to store all your staples won't bust your budget. Just don't wash the lids in the dishwasher – it could affect the seal, which you want to remain tight. (When stocking up on staples for your jars, grab some barley flakes – a provincially-grown nutritional powerhouse with great flavour. Check out my blog for information and a recipe).

If you like having salad-ready greens on hand but don't want to buy wasteful plastic boxes of pre-washed lettuce, consider a Progressive lettuce keeper, available from Bed Bath & Beyond for about $20. It would be easy (and cheaper) to wash your own lettuce once a week and store it in this container, which has an adjustable vent that regulates air circulation and moisture. It also has a divider for storing different types of produce and doubles as a colander.

Perhaps the cleverest new food storage product I've seen in the past year is FoldTuk non-stick bakeware. This new line, made from a petroleum-free material called Ceramber, can be used in conventional, convection, infrared and microwave ovens at temperatures up to 500F (260C), and is dishwasher and freezer safe. It's also collapsible, so that when it's folded, it measures just 2.5 centimetres tall, which means several pieces can be stored in a small space. There's also a collapsible roaster ($99 U.S.), which would save a couple of square feet of cupboard storage. FoldTuk is currently only available to Canadian customers online. You can order from foldtukbakeware.com, but email their customer service department for a shipping quote to Canada. On Amazon.com a four-cup square FoldTuk is listed for $15.99 plus shipping and handling.

Mea culpa: Last week, I wrote that the stainless steel Otter Bottle is made in Canada. I was wrong – it's manufactured in China. For information, go to otterbottle.ca.

FoldTuk Kitchenware is a US company providing unique cooking products for the home, leisure market
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