Ketchup Glides From New Non-Stick Bottle
May 25, 2012

Ketchup Glides From New Non-Stick Bottle

Lee Rannals for

Researchers have set out on a mission to help bruised palms across the world by reinventing the ketchup bottle.

A team from MIT decided enough was enough when trying to get the last bit of ketchup out of a bottle.  Every day, people strain as they try to find crafty ways to keep the liquid from sticking to the plastic, beating and pounding the bottle, trying to free the red sauce from its storage chamber.

MIT doctoral candidate Dave Smith and his team of engineers and nanotechnology researchers spent two months trying to come up with a solution.

Now, engineers have devised a plan to keep hungry ketchup advocates from having to work so hard to pump out their delicious fry-topping by adding a slippery coating to the inside of the bottle.

The team uses LiquiGlide as part of their solution, which makes the insides of the bottle almost frictionless so that the ketchup slides out like water.

They say their method could keep 1 million tons of previously inaccessible ketchup from being thrown out.

LiquiGlide is made of nontoxic, FDA-approved materials that can be applied to the insides of food packaging.  Its application can be expanded beyond ketchup bottles, by alleviating the stress of those more interested in mayonnaise or honey, but struggle with the same problems a ketchup connoisseur might have.

The substance can be sprayed onto the surfaces of many types of packaging, such as glass and plastic, allowing the contents to slip out like water.

The engineers are in talks with companies already to produce the LiquiGlide bottles, so the future of slippery condiment packaging is closing in.

Smith told FastCompany that he envisions other uses for the LiquiGlide product too, beyond just food packaging.

"We were really interested in – and still are – using this coating for anti-icing, or for preventing clogs that form in oil and gas lines, or for nonwetting applications like, say, on windshields," he told FastCompany.