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issue: August 2008 APPLIANCE Magazine

BPA-Free Plastic Materials
Blender Container Leaves Out an Ingredient


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by David Simpson, Contributing Editor

Vita-Mix designed its new Professional Series blenders with a BPA-free copolyester material that has more durability and improved sound-dampening qualities.

Vita-Mix Corp. (Olmsted Falls, OH, U.S.) has upgraded its CIA (Culinary Institute of America) Professional Series and other blender models with cool-running motors and design improvements for greater functionality and performance. The blender containers are made with a new, technologically advanced material.

Vita-Mix Corp. recently upgraded the containers of its household blenders (Professional Series, Vita-Mix 5200, and Turbo Blend 4500) with a new copolyester material that does not have BPA (bisphenol-A) content. Vita-Mix chose to use the new material because of its superior durability and sound-dampening properties, but can now offer a container that is also BPA-free.

“BPA is one of the most extensively tested materials in use today,” points out John Barnard, president and CEO of Vita-Mix (Olmsted Falls, OH, U.S.; www.vitamix.com). “Its safety has been studied for more than 40 years. Current data show that consumer products made with BPA are safe for their intended use and pose no known risks to human health. Although BPA dangers have been cited in the news recently, potential migration of BPA into food occurs only when a product containing BPA is misused and heated to extraordinarily high temperatures for extended periods of time.”

A family-owned company, Vita-Mix has delivered healthy eating, healthy living solutions to individuals and companies around the world. Committed to addressing consumer needs through groundbreaking products, the company introduced the Vita-Mix Machine in 1937, making the modern-day blender a common kitchen item.

The Vita-Mix transparent blender container uses Tritan copolyester from Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, TN, U.S.; www.eastman.com). Vita-Mix is the first company to use the new material in a kitchen appliance. The material is as durable as polycarbonate, improves sound dampening, and offers improved resistance to chemicals found in cleaning compounds. This is expected to provide greater durability over time, even with heavy use. A new twist-off lid plug with measurement marks, also made of Tritan, makes it easier to add ingredients when the machine is in use.

“We place an emphasis on using the highest-quality materials and components for our Vita-Mix products, and we had been looking for a viable BPA-free solution for a number of years,” says Barnard. The company tested many alternative materials for the container. Vita-Mix concluded that the Tritan copolyester was the only material able to eliminate BPA while maintaining the levels of impact resistance the containers needed.

The new material combines the clarity, toughness, and chemical resistance of traditional copolyesters with higher heat resistance and ease of processing. This unique balance of properties allows the blender containers to better withstand frequent consumer handling and cleanings with considerably reduced risk of crazing, cracking, or hazing.

The new-generation copolyester is also easy to process and can be used in molds designed for polycarbonate. These attributes allowed Laszeray Technology Inc. (North Royalton, OH, U.S., www.laszeray.com), one of Vita-Mix’s molded-parts suppliers, to produce the containers without complicated changes to its molding process. “Having a new polymer in the marketplace is very exciting, and to have one that works with minor tooling changes is a real plus,” says Ray Seuffert, president of Laszeray.

“Manufacturing the new containers with Tritan has exceeded our expectations for BPA-free performance, durability, and efficiency,” comments Barnard. “This unique material will help us continue to meet evolving consumer demands and produce the best blending appliances on the market.”

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
Eastman Chemical Co.
 

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