Nuclear experts use their know-how to come up with non-stick ketchup

Stephen Foley

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 clothes -- 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 thousands of jaws drop across the internet.


The inventors call their coating LiquiGlide and are trying to sell it to food companies.

They estimate that £1m (¤1.24m) 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.