Saran Wrap

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Saran Wrap

A trademark of the Dow Chemical Company, which has marketed it since 1953, Saran Wrap is a clear, flexible plastic wrap used primarily by consumers to preserve the freshness of food items. Introduced to the public in 1953 as Dow's first consumer product, Saran Wrap was the outgrowth of research and development that had produced many plastics created during World War II (1939–45). Since then, Saran Wrap and similar brands have largely replaced waxed paper as the preferred wrapping for lunchbox sandwiches, leftovers, or refrigerated meats, fruits, and vegetables.

Due to its chemical makeup, Saran Wrap can stand up to extreme temperatures. It can be used in the freezer as well as in a microwave oven (although it is not recommended while microwaving foods with a high sugar content). This toughness is a major reason for its usefulness and popularity. Dow further points out that "in developing countries where refrigeration is scarce, meat products are extruded into a sausage covered with Saran film that can be shipped and stored without refrigeration for up to six months."

In a memorable comic bit entitled "The 2,000-Year-Old Man," comedian Mel Brooks (1926–) was asked to name the world's greatest invention. He answered, "In 2,000 years? Saran Wrap."

—Edward Moran

For More Information

Dow Chemical Company. (accessed February 26, 2002).

Extol of Ohio, Inc. "Saran Wrap Plastic Film." (accessed February 26, 2002).

Green, Joey. "Saran Wrap." Joey Green's (accessed February 26, 2002).