Oreo is big business. sale It invests more than $2 billion annually in its parent company, Mondelēz International. But the cream-filled treats also raised some big questions, such as whether the cookie could be opened and the cream split evenly on both sides.
A team of scientists at MIT has taken on the task of investigating the science of Oreos. They published their paper under the ironic name of “oleology”. findings It was published last year in the peer-reviewed journal Physics of Fluids. Determined to uncover the truth behind the cream dispersion phenomenon, the team tested over 1,000 Oreos, according to To The Wall Street Journal, which previously reported on this study.
At first glance, the problem may seem trivial, but researchers point out that the study of “the flow of materials with complex or non-Newtonian viscosities,” also called rheology, has applications in food science. I’m here. Developers of specialty foods such as gluten-free dough and bread rely on this science to analyze the texture of their products and how consumers experience them.
Softness, touch and other factors are “essential”. [consumers’] One example is the habit of twisting and breaking apart sandwich cookies before eating them,” the researchers said.
As most Oreo lovers know, the cream in cookies tends to stick to one side of the two wafers rather than being evenly split between the two cookies. , found that the cream adhered to one side of the cookie about 80% of the time.
Meanwhile, the Oreo brand continues to roll out new varieties at cookie makers in January. introduction Something called “The Most OREO OREO” – a cream-filled treat with an extra level of oreo mixed into the filling.
Still, most Oreos can have the same problem.Research suggests that filings tend to stick to one side, no matter how high the cream is. It’s worth noting that the researchers found after testing Oreo’s dark chocolate and golden flavors that were more likely to break.
Fact: Oreo cream is actually liquid
In addition to pulling the Oreos apart by hand, the MIT researchers used a machine called a rheometer. This is a laboratory device used to test how fluids react to different forces. (Yes, Oreo creams are technically considered part of the “class of flowable soft solids known as yield stress fluids,” the researchers note. These look like soft solids. but “flows” when pressure is applied.)
“We also tested the cookies by hand, twisting, peeling, pushing, sliding and other basic motions to break the Oreos apart,” says Crystal Owens, Ph.D., MIT. . She is a candidate for mechanical engineering and a member of the mineralogy study group, she told the journal.
She added, “No combination of what we could do by hand or with the rheometer changed the results.”
The tendency of Oreo cream to stick to one wafer can be determined by how the cookies are stored in the box and how the cream is applied during manufacture. First, Owens told the Journal.
To make Oreos where the cream sticks to both cookies, manufacturers can either flip the wafer so that the rough side faces the filling or stick the cookies to the cream at the same time, the study said. told the publication.
Oreo’s parent company, Mondelez, still has questions about the best way to split Oreo.
Michelle Daignan, vice president of Oreo US at Mondelez International, said in an email to CBS Moneywatch, “I would like to congratulate these amazing scientific minds and applaud their dedication to the cookie-twisting ritual. “The reality is there is no one ‘right’ way to eat an Oreo cookie. ”