All you want is a small dollop of ketchup on your chips. With no handy Heinz sachets in sight, a glass bottle it has to be. What ensues is ten minutes of shaking, tapping, and despair before an avalanche of tomato sauce descends and ruins your fries.
But such ketchup conundrums could soon be a thing of the past.
Last year, science revealed to us the ideal way to slice pizza and how to make the perfect brew. And now? A physicist from the University of Melbourne has figured out the best way to get ketchup out of a bottle.
According to Dr Anthony Strickland, the first step is to acknowledge that tomato sauce probably shouldn't be in a glass bottle at all. Strickland, who released his research two weeks ago, said that ketchup is a suspension of tomato solids whizzed into a liquid, so is treated as a "soft solid" rather than a straight liquid. Therefore, it doesn't adhere to Isaac Newton's law of motion, which says that the sauce should flow at the speed of force applied to a bottle.
Strickland devised a three-step plan of attack to release the ketchup without making it look like someone has had a punch-up over the table.
Step one: Ensuring the lid is on, shake the bottle upwards to spread the solid particles within the sauce evenly. Next, the magic move. Turn the bottle upside down and quickly shake it downwards, stopping abruptly so that the sauce moves into the bottle neck.
But don't open it yet. Strickland suggests turning the bottle back up before unscrewing the lid and tilting it at a 45-degree angle. If the sauce needs encouragement, tap the bottle with slowly increasing force. Strickland said in an article from the university that "the trick is to get the sauce flowing, but not too fast" to avoid a sauce explosion.
Or you know, you could just by a squeezy bottle.