NPR : News

MIT Engineers Solve An Everyday Problem: A Backed-Up Ketchup Bottle

We've all been there: Banging the back of a glass ketchup bottle, begging it to give you a dollop of the good stuff or battling with a plastic bottle coercing it into giving up the last of its contents.

Maybe that will be a thing of the past.

Six MIT researchers say they've solved that problem as part of an entrepreneurship competition. The result is a bottle coated with "LiquiGlide," a non-toxic material so slippery that the ketchup or for that matter mayonaisse just glids out when you turn it over.

Here's a video from Fast Company:

Here's what the students told the magazine:

"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,' [MIT PhD candidate Dave 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.'"

If you're wondering, "LiquiGlide" did not win the competition. Cloudtop, which connects all your online experiences, took top prize in the MIT $100K competition.

Update at 3:10 p.m. ET. A Full Bottle?:

Our very sensible editor, Rick Holter, asks: But what happens if the bottle is full? Does LiquiGlide work then? We're posing that question to the team and we'll update the post with the answer.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Chasing Food Dreams Across U.S., Nigerian Chef Tests Immigration System

Tunde Wey wanted to share the food of his West African childhood. So he crossed the U.S. by bus, hosting pop-up dinners along the way. But Wey, like many immigrants, found success can unravel quickly.
NPR

Chasing Food Dreams Across U.S., Nigerian Chef Tests Immigration System

Tunde Wey wanted to share the food of his West African childhood. So he crossed the U.S. by bus, hosting pop-up dinners along the way. But Wey, like many immigrants, found success can unravel quickly.
WAMU 88.5

New Challenges To Recycling In The United States

Falling commodity prices are putting a squeeze on American recycling companies. What this means for cities, counties and the future of recycling programs in the United States.

WAMU 88.5

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski

Kojo chats with Freeman Hrabowski, the president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, about the future of higher education - and what he's doing to steer African-American students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.