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Finally Get That Last Drop of Ketchup

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HAMBURGER HELPER
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Strategies vary -- mine has always been to shake the bottle vigorously while screaming -- but bottled ketchup’s intransigence does not. A video search on Google (GOOG) for “getting ketchup out of the bottle” yields 238,000 results, many of them how to videos. For comparison, a search for “ketchup mess” produces 15.1 million videos.

Point is, as this Heinz (HNZ) commercial points out, ketchup can be tough to get out of the bottle. Heinz, thanks to its fairly extensive history with ketchup, offers this secret: Hit the bottle on the 57.

For those of us looking for something a bit more concrete, it’s time to turn to science. According to the Daily Mail, a team from MIT has finally figured out how to get all of the ketchup out of the bottle.

The product, called LiquiGlide, makes the inside of ketchup bottles so slippery that the tomato product slides out quickly and easily. Its developers claim to be more interested in using the coating for “anti-icing, or for the preventing clogs that occur in oil and gas lines, or for non-wetting applications like, say, on windshields.”

However, someone on the MIT team came up with the idea of using LiquiGlide on food bottles, and the rest is, almost, history. The product still needs to be approved by the FDA, but the team promises that it is safe. If approved, the coating could revolutionize the estimated $17 billion a year sauce bottle market.

And how long did it take them to come up with it? Two months.

Considering how quickly the MIT engineers figured this out, it seems easy criticize Heinz for letting us struggle all these years. That said, according to its website, the company revolutionized ketchup packaging back in 1983, with the squirt bottle.

They also managed to turn ketchup green, in 2000, followed purple, pink, orange, teal and blue. That worked out well.
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