Every BBQ and fast food fan will know this feeling. The bottleis almost empty but all shaking and beating will not break the lastbit of ketchup of the bottom. A group of nano researchers andmechanical engineers from MIT might have found a solution tothat.
MIT student competition
Brian Solomon, one of the MIT students that invented this newtechnique, explained: “We had a glass bowl and we coated the glassbowl and put a drop of ketchup, and we played with it looked at itfor a couple of minutes and it works.” The result called LiquiGlidecan be viewed here.
Concerns over food safety were dealt with carefully: “If youwanted to, you could scrape the coating off and eat it and becompletely safe,” stated Solomon. The ketchup coating invention wasoutcome of this year’s MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition wherestudents draw up business plans and present innovations.
$17 billion bottle market
Little is known of how LiquiGlide is created. Another teammember, MIT PhD candidate Dave Smith, explains that they employed a”structured liquid–it’s rigid like a solid, but it’s lubricatedlike a liquid. I can’t say what they are, but we’ve patented thehell out of it.”
“We were really interested in–and still are–using this coatingfor anti-icing, or for preventing clogs that form in oil and gaslines, or for non-wetting applications like, say, on windshields.Somehow this sparked the idea of putting it in food bottles. Itcould be great just for its slippery properties. Plus, most ofthese other applications have a much longer time to market; werealized we could make this coating for bottles that is pretty muchready. I mean, it is ready.”
“It’s funny: Everyone is always like, ‘Why bottles? What’s thebig deal?’ But then you tell them the market for bottles–just thesauces alone is a $17 billion market. And if all those bottles hadour coating, we estimate that we could save about one million tonsof food from being thrown out every year.”