By Mike Pomranz
Updated July 01, 2015
Credit: © LiquiGlide Inc.

Back in March, we discussed LiquiGlide – a surface coating that allows products to flow eye-poppingly freely, potentially eliminating waste in even the peskiest containers like ketchup bottles and toothpaste tubes.

Now, the company finally appears to be making some headway in getting LiquiGlide to store shelves. MIT News announced that the brand had inked a licensing agreement with Orkla, a Norwegian consumer-goods producer, potentially marking the first time the tech will be used in a commercial food product. Orkla plans to bring the coating to mayonnaise products sold in Germany, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe.

The first time you see LiquiGlide in action, typically viscous substances slip around so easily it almost looks alien. So questions about the coating’s safety seem natural, especially in light of the negative press other nonstick coatings have received. The team behind the product insists the technology is entirely safe: LiquiGlide isn’t really any specific material at all, but a “concept where we can design this surface in a way that it could be slippery to a whole range of different liquids,” says Kripa Varanasi, an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and co-inventor of the product. The company explains, “The ingredients for each custom coating are selected from hundreds of materials based on the specific needs of the applications, and each coating can be made entirely from food, meeting all safety standards.”

The only other licensing agreement LiquiGlide has publically announced was with Elmer’s back in March, so even getting a toe in the food game seems like a big step for the company. It will be interesting to see if and when other brands jump on board.