A Norwegian company wants to help you get every drop of mayo out of the bottle. It’s licensing a non-stick coating from a US company that already works with glue manufacturers.
The US firm, LiquiGlide, says it can coat the inside of food containers in a totally safe way. It customizes its coating manufacture process for individual uses and says in this case it could make the coating entirely from food materials, thus meeting health and safety standards.
According to LiquiGlide, its product isn’t simply a super-hydrophobic material that creates a cushion of air between itself and a product. Instead it’s a liquid-impregnated surface. In effect it’s a flat surface with a raised matrix (looking a little like a city grid from above). The matrix is designed so that a liquid not only perfectly fills the gaps between the raised bumps but is held permanently in place.
The result is an overall surface that’s consistently slippery and allows the relevant liquid in the container to pass smoothly. As well as using custom materials, the company also adjusts the structure to give a custom level of slipperiness: that is, controlling the speed at which the liquid in the container passes by.
Earlier this year the company licensed its technology to glue manufacturer Elmers with the aim of making it easier to get glue out of the container. Now it’s done a deal with Norwegian food manufacturer Orkla. The initial deal covers mayonnaise products across Northern Europe.
The theory is that as well as customers feeling they get a better deal by not wasting any of the product, it could boost recycling, either by customers reusing products at home, or by making it easier for waste management products to reclaim the container without having to deal with gunk on an epic scale.
LiquiGlide is selling it as a boost for the manufacturers as well: it argues that customers who can get the product out easier will finish it off quicker and buy replacements, rather than give up out of frustration but be unwilling to make a new purchase while there’s still some left in the bottle.
Of course, while the logic of the coating makes sense, and it may well work perfectly with mayo, here in the UK shoppers will be forgiven for wondering how it will cope with Marmite, a yeast extract spread (similar to Australia’s Vegemite) notorious for the last few servings being irretrievable.