Engineers find cure for ketchup stuck in bottles

Researchers: 'LiquiGlide' works with many types of packaging

Published On: May 24 2012 01:55:22 PM EDT   Updated On: May 25 2012 10:40:57 AM EDT
LiquiGlide

A team of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a solution to one of life's greatest mysteries: how to make ketchup pour as easily as milk.

PhD candidate Dave Smith and his team of mechanical engineers and nano-technologists at the Varanasi Research Group said they spent the past two months developing LiquiGlide -- a slippery bottle coating made of nontoxic, FDA-approved materials -- that solves the frustratingly difficult act of pouring thick sauces out of bottles, Co.Exist on Fast Company reported.

"It's funny: Everyone is always like, 'Why bottles? What's the big deal?'" Smith told Fast Company. "But then you tell them the market for bottles -- just the sauces alone -- is a $17 billion market. And if all those bottles had our coating, we estimate that we could save about one million tons of food from being thrown out every year."

The group posted videos of LiquiGlide in action on its website.

The scientists said the substance can be sprayed onto the surfaces of many types of packaging -- including glass and plastic -- with the same results.

As for the ingredients of the coating, Smith and his team would only say that they worked with materials that already have an FDA stamp of approval for use in food packaging.

According to the reports, the group is shopping LiquiGlide around to prospective bottle companies and also considering future applications in the aviation industry as well as oil and gas.

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