Natural wood serveware

Posted by LIdee Haus at 16/04/2023

Being made from solid wood and gone through manufacturing process to ensure safety yet maintaining the natural beauty of wood grain, wood servewares are favorite utensils not only thanks to their basic usage but also their prominent appearance which makes the food look more appealing. Same wood type but different trunks in different period can lead to the variable appearance of wood surface. Working in wood industry for a long time & having strong preference on solid wood items, LIdee Haus would like to share more about the process of making either good-looking or safe serveware piece. 


A - Materials

Main materials is no other than natural wood. There are several wood options such as Acacia, Beech, Oak, Walnut, Faux Acajen, Rubber, Ash… depending on hobby and market level because each wood has different pattern  & characteristics. This explains why for 1 same design & same size, price can be a big gap due to different wood type. For entry level, manufacturers will use local wood sources like Faux Acajen, Rubber or Acacia thanks to their cheap price & abundant source, the minus point is short durability and quick wear & tear after a period.

At LIdee Haus, we use 3 wood types Ash, White Oak and Walnut imported from EU & US. First is the taste, all of them have beautiful wood grain & elegant color. Second is wood durability, not too heavy but dense & solid, good anti-mold, thanks to those characteristics they are widely used for producing export furniture. Among above 3, in term of price Walnut > White Oak > Ash. Each wood has its own strength & weakness. 

Ash wood - Creamy color, ultra light tone, thick wood fiber, mountain-shaped wood grain


+ Competitive price, cheaper than Oak & Walnut

+ Big & eye-catching grain

+ Not as sturdy as Oak but good durability

Weakness Less anti-mold resistance than the other 2 woods, require strict drying & treatment

White Oak - Yellow color, darker than Ash, thin & smooth wood fiber, pretty straight grains with several minor grains look like rain drops


+ Dense & sturdy

+ Extremely good anti-mold resistance

+ Good weather resistance


+ High price

+ High shrinkage, too high dryness may cause distort 

Walnut - Light chocolate color, dark tone, beatiful straight grain with some wavy lines 


+ Dense & sturdy

+ Excellent anti-mold resistance

+ Good elasticity, no bending

+ Warm tone brings hi-end look, contains feng-shui meaning


+ Quite high price

+ Natural dark color makes it hard to mix & match for consumers prefer light tone


B - Production process

The log after kiln & dry will be put into the production process with preliminary cutting & CNC cutting (to define the shape), additional step such as drilling or carving can occur depending on the design complex. The surface is sanded to ensure smooth feeling, afterwards 2 layers of protection oil are added to get rid of mold, bending, another sanding step is added between 2 oiling steps to make sure the surface is clean & smooth. The wood grain and color itself is beautiful, the final coating is NC layer to enhance the glossiness & complete the look of product. Controlling the glossiness is an important step which can affect the appearance, a lack of glossiness makes  the product look dry, pale, look-like used piece. However, excessive glossiness makes it look like plastic & destroy the hi-end look of natural wood. 

(Example on too low glossiness - left & too high glossiness - right)


C - Safety standards

Currently there is no specific safety regulation for wooden serveware in Vietnam, most manufacturers will refer to the standards of Korea - Japan or more popular EU - US thanks to its wide accepted spectrum. In the US, products in contact with food will be tested in accoradance with FDA regulations on FCM (Food Contact Materials), GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) is an FDA certification applicable to selling items with strict requirement on safety compared to normal FDA certified items, no side effect to sensitive targets like baby, pregnant & breastfeeding woman. Meanwhile in EU, FCM requirements are regulated in LFGB (Lebensmittel-, Bedarfsgegenstände-und Futtermittelgesetzbuch, stand for German Food & Commodities Act). This is the strictest regulation in EU for FCM. All products supposed to be in contact with food must fully comply with all testing requiirements from LFGB to be accepted to be sold in EU market.

Oak, Ash, Walnut all belong to GRAS, which means the raw materials are safe. Of course it's not that the wooden plate is cut right from the tree and ready to use, there are further production steps afterwards. As a summary, the wooden servewares have 2 main factors: solid wood & coating. Solid wood is natural, the coating (oil, wax or paint) is the chemical applied on the surface but it also penetrates into the wood (not yet mentioning the protection layers added during production stages). In fact this coating layer plays quite an important role because when the food is put on the serveware, it is in direct contact to the coating, not the raw wood. 

There are many specific terms which can make the article too complicated and hard to analyze, we would like to share the information within the testing spectrum conducted on LIdee Haus' collectiion. Our wooden plates have been tested at TÜV Rheinland Vietnam and fulfilled selective EU requirements.

☑️ Pass sensorial examination

When the sensorial of materials is too strong, food coming into contact with it will undergo detectable changes in taste and smell, brings harmful feeling (like having chemical in mouth). There are 5 levels from 0 to 4, 0 is no discernible deviation (no change), 4 is strong deviation (obvious change).  

☑️ No heavy metal like Lead & Cadmium

☑️ No TC PCP, TeCP & TriCP - carcinogenic harmful chemical substances, belonging to REACh's prohibited substances (European Union regulation on chemical management)

☑️ No pesticide

☑️ Non-exceeding Formaldehyde migration

Formaldehyde is typical chemical compound which is widely used in several production areas (home appliances, glues, fabric, pesticide, healthcare products, industrial wood…). WHO categorizes Formaldehyde as toxic chemical with extremely serious affect on human skin, respiratory system, cancer risk and poison. Formaldehyde can be available anywhere, especially in low-quality products with unclear origin, which contains high risk because human body in contact with limited exceeding Formaldehyde for a long period will be quite harmful.  

The purpose of this test is not to check Formaldehyde content in the product because Formaldehyde can exist even in natural objects, natural wood itself still contains Formaldehyde (trivial amount, hardly considerable). However, the Formaldehyde content can increase after production process or specific condition, which causes harm to other objects via migration.

The migration of Formaldehyde becomes more obvious in high temperature, normally 70 Celcius degree or more. Acidic food is more likely to release toxic causing harm to human health. As a consequence, wooden serveware should be used with recommendation.

Regulation on chemical restriction may create additional barriers to manufacturers due to considerable lab testing cost and certified materials leading to high input cost. Among vast of product choices, we understand that price is definitely a criteria which most of customers concern. As a seller, LIdee Haus think that using safe products is consumers' basic right & this is our responsibility. Therefore, our top priorities are quality assurance, clear product origin & information transparency as shown via our actual test report at testing institute. Thank you for putting your trust on our products among various selection, we hope that you can enjoy carefree products at LIdee Haus.


All photos & extracted report in this article belong to LIdee Haus, no content copy or reproduction without our authorization is permitted.

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