Insight & Analysis

The secret is out of the bottle

Published: Feb 2017

There is no need to struggle anymore to get the last drop of ketchup out of the bottle.

The culinary world is full of great unanswered questions. What is the secret KFC recipe? What sauce does McDonald’s use in the Big Mac? And, how do you get every last drop of ketchup (or any other sauce) out of a glass bottle?

Now, thanks to scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the world has an answer to the latter.

Putting an end to the need to shake the bottle furiously, the team at MIT have developed a coating that makes the bottle interior super slippery, which they claim enables ketchup or any other liquid to slide out of the bottle without leaving a trace.

Professor Kripa Varanasi, one of the inventors of the coating, has said: “The cool thing about it is that because the coating is a composite of solid and liquid, it can be tailored to the product. So, for food, we make the coating out of food-based materials and so you can actually eat it.”

Not only then is the coating practical and tasty, it is also environmentally friendly. Co-inventor Dr David Smith comments that: “With the manufacture of these sticky products there are about 200m gallons of material each year that gets stuck to tanks and then gets washed off and thrown away. And in packages, there are about 40bn packs with material stuck in packages so the technology has the potential to significantly reduce waste.”

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