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News From The Future-27

http://www.fastcoexist.com/embed/89099ca915d05

NEWS FROM THE FUTURE – Ketchup That Doesn’t Get Stuck In The Bottle

When it comes to those last globs of ketchup inevitably stuck to every bottle of Heinz, most people either violently shake the container in hopes of eking out another drop or two, or perform the “secret” trick: smacking the “57″ logo on the bottle’s neck. But not MIT PhD candidate Dave Smith. He and a team of mechanical engineers and nano-technologists at the Varanasi Research Group have been held up in an MIT lab for the last two months addressing this common dining problem.

The result? LiquiGlide, a “super slippery” coating made up of nontoxic materials that can be applied to all sorts of food packaging–though ketchup and mayonnaise bottles might just be the substance’s first targets. Condiments may sound like a narrow focus for a group of MIT engineers, but not when you consider the impact it could have on food waste and the packaging industry. “It’s funny: Everyone is always like, ‘Why bottles? What’s the big deal?’ But then you tell them the market for bottles–just the sauces alone is a $17 billion market,” Smith says. “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.”

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Dave Bell says:

    AND shampoo/conditioner bottles!

  2. Doug says:

    The way I see it, companies won’t use this newly invented non-stick coating – especially if it costs them money.

    Why?

    Because they don’t care if you don’t get everything out of a bottle. The less you get out, the sooner you’ll buy another bottle.

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  4. Where I live, they sell mayonnese in squeezable packages made now in plastic (once they were in metal) and, from 200ml and more, in jars. Even better, all the tomato sauce bottles here have openings of 2,5 cm ca. Like that, you don’t have any problem at all pouring the sauce when you need it. I don’t get why they always put ketchup in bottles with thin necks. Shouldn’t be easy to serve ketchup if the bottle had a larger opening?

  5. rahere says:

    All of which progresses from a ketchup bomb of tablespoon size to a potential bomb of the entire contents of the bottle! Alternatively, make your own?

  6. Poet says:

    Doug you may find the opposite true of your opinion. With a product tending to come out easily the potential for too much coming out will sell even more product. Ever see kids using easily pourable liquids? Milk poured on cereal is a common example.