Washington, July 28 : An Indian-origin professor of clay mineralogy at Pennsylvania State University has made a new cookware that interacts with microwaves to generate heat, and cooks rice in about half the time conventional utensils take.
Sridhar Komarneni says that the new material he and his colleagues have designed for use in microwaves not only heats foods and beverages more quickly, but also saves energy.
He has revealed that a rice cooker and plates made from the material are already being sold by ASAHI Ceramics Research Co. in Japan.
"Conventional coffee cups are made from ceramic compositions which do not absorb microwaves and hence they do not heat up. When conventional ceramics are used for heating food, only food heats up and then the hot food heats up the ceramic," Live Science quoted Komarneni as saying.
He says that his team has now developed new ceramic that interacts with the microwaves and heats up.
He says that he and his colleagues have made these plates from a mix of 20 percent magnetite and 80 percent of a naturally occurring petalite mineral containing lithium, aluminium and silicon oxides.
"The microwaves heat up the container and hence the food. Rice cooks in about half or less time," Komarneni said.
The researcher adds that containers made from the material can pop popcorn more quickly, too.
Detailing the new material's qualities in the American Chemical Society's journal Chemistry of Materials, the researchers also said that food kept in such containers would stay hot longer.
"These ceramic materials not only heat up with microwaves but also retain heat for about 15 minutes and hence the food stays hot in the container. Ceramic plates could be used for pizza delivery as these plates are insulating materials," Komarneni said.