|MadSci Network: Engineering|
I can by no means be considered an "expert" for microwave ovens. However, looking at the current technology and consumer trends, I may be able to provide a glimpse of what is in store for the future of microwaves. The current status of the microwave oven is one of an indispensable household appliance. It is convenient, energy efficient, and affordable to a vast number of the population. There are so many various sizes of microwaves out on the market that the college student to a major restaurant has the opportunity to reheat and even cook various food items. It was not that long ago that microwaves were unheard of; but now they play a very large part in our daily lives. Technology is always looking for ways to improve and advance the current state of things. Recent technology has allowed several cooking/heating methods to be combined into one unit. There are units out in the marketplace (mostly professional units, i.e. restaurants) that combine microwave and convectional heating and cooking for food. They are a new item, carried by the more elite appliance manufacturers, and are considered expensive for the average household. However, given time, everyone may have a dual heating unit instead of "just a microwave". There are many studies in the area of food nutrition that seem to conflict each other. Some studies indicate that microwave cooking completely destroys the nutritional value of foods while others claim no change to the nutritional value. Until further, more in-depth, and appropriately sized studies are performed, there will be conflicting reports. The safety of the microwave has always been in question. However, there has been no conclusive study to show otherwise and that microwaves are as harmless as a haridryer. However, one can still be hurt if the item is abused or misused - melting things you are not supposed to, etc. I do not foresee a sudden death of microwave ovens - only for them to improve and increase in the features they possess. However, one day, a new technological breakthrough may occur that may make microwaves obsolete. But until then, I will continue to enjoy my microwave popcorn and TV dinners. I am not sure what type of quote you are looking for. A professional society or the Federal Food and Drug Administration may be able to provide you with the "expert" opinion you seek. I do have some historical, informative, and organizational websites that you may be able to find what you are looking for: American Association of Engineering Societies (you can ask them particular microwave questions) http://www.aaes.org/ School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds http://www.imp.leeds.ac.uk/ How Stuff Works http://www.howstuffworks.com/microwave.htm How Things Work - University of Virginia http://rabi.phys.virginia.edu/HTW/microwave_ovens.html A Brief History of the Microwave Oven http://www.gallawa.com/microtech/history.html Center for Devices and Radiological Health http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/consumer/microwave.html Newton's Apple: Microwave Ovens (good references) http://www.eecs.umich.edu/mathscience/funexperiments/agesubject/lessons/new ton/micrwave.html Consumer Search (consumer reports online) http://consumersearch.com/www/kitchen/microwaves/index.html Friedmans Microwave Ovens http://www.friedmansmicrowave.com/buyingguide/ Hopefully one or more of these sites will be helpful to you.
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