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Waste No More With This Super Slippery Coating

Best of 2015! (Originally published July 9, 2015)

The days of wasting ketchup, mayonnaise and other substances that stubbornly stick to the insides of their containers and bottles may soon be over thanks to a super slippery coating first developed at MIT. Norwegian company Orkla ASA has recently taken out a license use MIT’s coating and it is being marketed as LiquiGlide. Orkla ASA plans to unveil slippery LiquiGlide in a new brand of mayo that will be available in northern and central Europe in 2016.

LiquiGlide estimates that up 10-15% of condiments annoyingly go to waste because they get stuck in their bottle or container. Pretty annoying. It is no wonder then the coating caught widespread attention when it went viral in a 2012 video showing how quickly ketchup could be poured out of a bottle lined with the invention.

LiquiGlide consists of a slid layer on the container interior with a liquid layer on top. The liquid layer adheres to the solid layer via capillary forces and remains in place after the container is emplied. The solid and liquid components are made from food safe ingredients such as vegetable oils. The coatings also don’t interfere with recycling processes because they can be easily washed out with caustic soda bath typically used to clean containers that being recycle.d Cost of around a cent of less per 12 ounce container, made with inexpensive materials.

Main areas of application are food and beauty industry where the desire is to squeeze every last ounce of a bottle, but the coating could help to improve transport efficiency in oil and gas pipelines, help de-ice airplane wings and spped up viscous liquid in processing machinery.