The Reason Ketchup Can Be Hard To Pour, According To Science

One of the most popular condiments is the highly respected tomato ketchup. Crucial for lashing over burgers, drowning hot dogs, and being dunked in by fries, some would say that ketchup stands far above the rest as a mealtime accompaniment. Some folks even enjoy their ketchup combined with foods that may be perceived as a bit odd, such as slathered over pasta or mixed into a plate of scrambled eggs.

However, even though ketchup is one of the most upstanding members of the kitchen condiment community, it also has a well deserved reputation for being unnecessarily frustrating. While most condiments can be easily squeezed, scooped, or spread, ketchup persistently refuses to budge from the safety of its bottle. Although it often feels like the red beauty holds a terrible grudge against us, experts have discovered there's actually a whole load of science that prevents ketchup from playing ball (via Mental Floss).

Ketchup can be difficult to pour due to its nature

While trying to get ketchup out of the bottle can cause uncontrollable rage, food experts have created an explanation that may help you understand why you have to spend so long scraping out every last stubborn bit.

Science video blogger George Zaidan shares in an animated Ted-Ed video that ketchup is a non-Newtonian fluid, meaning that it behaves differently depending on how long, hard, and fast it's poured (via Mental Floss). The longer it's left sitting in a bottle, the less likely it is to want to budge. Ketchup, then, is basically a teenager on a Sunday morning  — or for that matter, any morning.

Futurity provides the solution to forcing ketchup out of its comfy bottle. First, give the bottle a really good shake, waking up those lumbering red splodges. Then, tip the bottle upside down and — leaving the lid on — slam it on its base. The final part, when you're ready to pour, is to gradually tilt the bottle towards the destination until the ketchup begins to slide out. Make sure it's done carefully, otherwise you could end up with ketchup splattered all over your hands, floor, and probably even the cat.