Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have revealed that they’ve tested over 1,000 Oreos to figure out the best way to eat the beloved cookie.
Crystal Owens, a PhD candidate in MIT’s mechanical engineering department, spoke about her and her team’s study, in which they examine the fan-favourite snack, during a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. In their work, which was published in the Physics of Fluids journal last year, these scientists studied the equal distribution of an Oreo’s creme, in which it ends up on both side of the wafer when the cookie is broken apart.
Speaking to WSJ, Owens went on to explain her team’s method: putting the cookie between two counter-rotating plates, through a device called a rheometer. She said also said that when they glued different Oreo flavours to the rheometer, it would twist the cookie open at different speeds.
However, after placing over 1,000 Oreos on to that device, these MIT scientists still found that nearly 80 per cent of the creme stuck to only one side of the wafer. Owens went on to note that regardless of how fast or slow the rheometers opened the Oreo, the results didn’t change.
“We also tested the cookies by hand—twisting, peeling, pressing, sliding and doing other basic motions to get an Oreo apart,” she said. “There was no combination of anything that we could do by hand or in the rheometer that changed anything in our result.”
The team empahsised that even when the rheometer moved pretty slowly, results didn’t change. In fact, when the rheometer took about five minutes to open the cookie, most of the creme still stayed on one wafer.
As the results went on to suggest that an Oreo’s creme may be stronger than its two wafers, Max Fan, co-author of the study, recommended other ways for the brand to make changes to its cookie.
Fan recommended, in the research, that the company could flip the cookie, so the word Oreo was on the inside. Ultimately, the texture of the word could help the stickiness of the creme, so it could then be distributed on both halves of the cookie.
At the end of her work, Owens also shared that she developed a simpler version of the rheometer, which she called the “Oremeter”. Ultimately, people could 3D print this design themselves and have the opportunity to use this device on their own cookies.
“For me this all started as a personal question,” she told WSJ. “But I guess everyone else was also thinking like, ‘Oh, let’s understand my Oreos better.’ ”
Although she didn’t discover the perfect way to open an Oreo through her rheometer, she noted that she’s still going to continue using it on other two-piece treats, including Nutter Butter cookies, macaroons, and ice cream sandwiches.
As Oreos are one of America’s most iconic cookies, many fans have set out to discover the best way to eat them. More specifically, one viral YouTube short called “You’re eating Oreos WRONG,” shared a “correct way” to eat the snack.
In the clip, a woman could be seen filling her staw with milk, before sticking it into the middle of the cookie. She then blew the milk into the cookie, causing the creme to get bigger, which then gave her a “creme infused cookie”. Before learning this hack, she shared her way of eating the cookie by sticking it into a fork and dipping it into a glass of milk.
Speaking to The Independent, Michelle Deignan, Vice President, Oreo U.S., Mondelēz International, shared his response to the MIT scientists research. “We want to congratulate these amazing scientific minds and applaud their dedication to our cookie twisting ritual. For years, we have encouraged our fans to add their own personal spin on our classic ‘twist, lick, and dunk’ ritual,’” he said.
He also confessed that he doesn’t necessarily have a recommendation himself for the best way to eat an Oreo. “The reality is that there’s just not one ‘right’way to eat an OREO cookie,” he added. “One of the most fun things is that there are countless ways we see our fans enjoying the OREO ritual, and we encourage everyone to keep twisting (and licking and dunking, too!) however they wish!”