Inventors free trapped ketchup
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Monday 28 May 2012
It is the latest culinary invention to be hailed as the best thing since sliced bread: the non-stick ketchup bottle.
No more thumping the bottom of the bottle, no more jiggering about with a knife, no more spills, spurts or spots all over your tunic – a simple tilt, and out it comes, with ne'er a drop left in the base of the bottle.
The non-stick bottle has been devised by a team of PhD students at MIT in Boston, who normally spend their time working on coatings for oil pipelines or the inside of nuclear reactors.
Their breakthrough involves a coating for the inside of the bottle made from secret food ingredients, engineered to have the consistency of a solid but the slipperiness of a liquid. Videos made by the students – which show ketchup, mayonnaise, jam and mustard slipping cleanly from their containers – have made jaws drop across the internet.
The inventors call their coating LiquiGlide and are trying to sell it to food companies. They estimate that £1m-worth of condiments is thrown away each year because leftovers cannot be scraped from jars and bottles – while eliminating the need for safety caps on squeeze bottles could save 25,000 tons of plastic a year.
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