June 7, 2023

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Investigation: why does ketchup pour out of the bottle so strangely? And what does the goals of Ronaldo, Van Nistelrooy and Jota have to do with it

A few important tips.

Last Monday, Diogo Jota scored for the first time in a year (since April 10, 2022) – and immediately a double in 6-1 against Leeds. After that, he referred to the words of Cristiano Ronaldo.

“He had a few games without goals and people asked about it. He compared the situation to ketchup. When the first drop comes out, the rest follows. I hope it will be the same with me, ”Jota admitted.

And already in the next match against Nottingham (3:2), the Portuguese sparkled with a new double – it seems that Cristiano’s logic worked.

Ronaldo spoke about this during the 2010 World Cup – then he scored against the DPRK team

Before the match with the DPRK, Ronaldo did not score for the national team in 11 matches in a row – between February 2009 (goal by Finland) and June 2010. Cristiano was left without goals in matches against Sweden, South Africa, Albania, Denmark, twice against Hungary, China, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Mozambique and Côte d’Ivoire.

The sad series was interrupted only at the 2010 World Cup. Before meeting with the Brazilians (3rd round of the 2010 World Cup group), Ronaldo said: “I don’t worry – I just work at a normal pace. Goals are like ketchup – when it starts to flow out of the bottle, everything pours out at once.

But the quote was not invented by Ronaldo! The first in football was Ruud van Nistelrooy – this is how he encouraged Higuain

January-February 2007: Gonzalo Higuain just moved to Real Madrid and did not score in six opening matches. In total, Higuain scored 2 goals until the end of the season.

The Argentine later recalled an important conversation with Ruud van Nistelrooy:

“He said something to me during the period when I didn’t score: “You try, but nothing comes out. And when it comes out, it’s all at once. It’s like ketchup. I believe that no one is perfect, not even the best players in the world, so I always want to learn.”

Van Nistelrooy generally had a fascinating relationship with food. Even before the end of his career, he fell in love with Nutella pizza (yes, pizza with Nutella, and not separately) so that they brought it to the Dutchman even in the locker room.

Ruud spoke about this while playing for Hamburg: “At my favorite Italian restaurant, Tute e Peppino in Madrid, I got Nutella pizza for dessert. It was very tasty. The recipe is as simple as possible: hot pizza dough, olive oil as a base and a chocolate layer on top. Pizza “Rud” is ready.

The main question is: why does ketchup pour out of bottles like that?

For an answer, let’s turn to the theory of Isaac Newton . He divided liquids into ideal (water, juice, alcohol, etc.) and non-ideal (honey, condensed milk, yogurt). The first follows regardless of the acting forces, and the second consists of larger molecules, so you need to apply effort. Ketchup is not an ideal liquid, so it does not pour immediately. Such substances can behave both as a liquid and as a solid.

“Ketchup is made up of crushed tomato solids suspended in a liquid, making it more of a ‘soft solid’ than a liquid,” explains Anthony Stickland of the University of Melbourne. –Solid particles form a relatively strong structure. To overcome the strength of this connection, you need to squeeze the bottle. Then the pressure increases, the viscosity increases and the ketchup behaves like a liquid and pours onto the plate.But this buoyant force is counteracted by the resistance of the liquid relative to the walls of the vessel. The balance of these two forces controls the flow of ketchup onto the plate.”

A few important tips for ketchup lovers:

• Squeeze the empty bottle more slowly, this will avoid excessive pressure inside.

• A narrow outlet is the cause of many troubles. If possible, remove the lid and let the ketchup drain through the wider spout.

• Some types of bottles have a rubber cap. When the bottle runs out, remove it. The splash will be much less.

There is even an animated video on the TED platform where they talk about ketchup and non-Newtonian liquids. They voiced two main ways to extract ketchup: either shake the bottle for a long time and slowly, without using force at all, or hit it very hard once.