New bottle coating gets every bit of ketchup out of the bottle

BOSTON • Frustrated that you can never get every last drop of ketchup from the bottle? Scientists say they have a solution.

They have developed a coating that makes bottle interiors super slippery. The coating can also be used to make it easier to squeeze out the contents of other containers, such as those holding toothpaste, cosmetics and even glue, BBC reported.

The researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston believe their innovation could dramatically reduce waste. When incorporated into the bottle, it enables the ketchup or any other liquid to just slide out.

In its manufacture, the container must first be coated on the inside with a rough surface, BBC said. A very thin layer is then placed over this. And, finally, a liquid is added that fills in any troughs to form a very slippery surface - like an oily floor.

The ketchup hovers on top and just glides out of the bottle.

The technology is completely safe, according to Professor Kripa Varanasi, who developed the slippery surface. "The cool thing about it is that because the coating is a composite of solid and liquid, it can be tailored to the product. So for food, we make the coating out of food-based materials and so you can actually eat it."

CUSTOM-MADE SOLUTION

The cool thing about it is that because the coating is a composite of solid and liquid, it can be tailored to the product.

PROF KRIPA VARANASI, who developed the slippery surface.

Reducing waste is another major benefit, co-inventor David Smith told the BBC. "There is about 200 million gallons (757 million litres) of material each year that gets stuck to tanks and then gets washed off and thrown away. And in packages, there are about 40 billion packs with material stuck in packages, so the technology has the potential to significantly reduce waste."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2017, with the headline 'New bottle coating gets every bit of ketchup out of the bottle'. Print Edition | Subscribe