MIT Scientists Figure Out How to Get Ketchup Out of the Bottle

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According to Heinz, ketchup exits the company’s iconic glass bottles at an excruciatingly slow .028 miles per hour. In case you were wondering, that’s slower than a Galápagos tortoise, which, according the San Diego Zoo, creeps along at a relatively speedy .16 miles per hour.

What’s the cause of such lethargic condiments? That would be our old pal friction. Luckily for burger fans everywhere, impatiently tapping our ketchup bottles might be a thing of the past thanks to MIT PhD candidate Dave Smith.

Fast Company brings news of the valiant Smith’s contribution to lunch science. Apparently he and a team of mechanical engineers and nano-technologists have been holed up in a MIT lab for the past two months trying to solve the ketchup conundrum.

Their solution? LiquiGlide, which is “kind of a structured liquid–it’s rigid like a solid, but it’s lubricated like a liquid,” Smith tells Fast Company.

Appetizing! This wonder material can be used to coat the inside of anything and is made from FDA-approved materials. Once applied, whatever’s inside — including ketchup, mayo or any other sauce — slides out effortlessly (see the videos here) with little residue.

Smith and his team came in second place in MIT’s $100k Entrepreneurship Competition. The biggest payday, however, will come if they actually sell the invention to companies that make sauces, a market Smith says is worth $17 billion. Oh, and if you’re looking to steal his idea, know that he “patented the hell out of it.”

Lets hope some big companies bite. I’m tired of waiting five minutes for ketchup to land on my cheeseburger.

[via Fast Company]

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