Scientists Manage to Unboil an Egg; Could Lead to Innovations in Agriculture and Healthcare

By: | October 9th, 2015

To unboil an egg may seem meaningless, but it could actually lead to innovations in agriculture and healthcare.

Scientists at the University of California, Irvine, along with researchers at Flinders University in Australia, have found out a way to unboil an egg and return boiled egg white proteins back to their original form.

The purpose of this research was not to prove that this can be done, but instead to show that costs for cancer treatments and food production can be dramatically reduced.

Eggs are protein rich; around 12% of the egg white is protein while the yolk is about 16% protein. But when an egg is boiled, the proteins unfold and refold into a more tangled, disordered form, turning egg whites from clear to white.

But the researchers were able to pull apart the proteins in cooked egg whites and allow them to return to their original shape.

Their technique involved boiling the egg whites for 20 minutes at 194 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius). Then they added a substance that liquefies the boiled egg whites and used a machine called a vortex fluid device to shape the egg white protein back into its untangled form.

Apart from the medical and food industries, many other industries could also benefit from this unboiling technique.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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