|Marcel Woo |||Jan 29, 2015 09:42 PM EST|
A woman sells eggs at a market. REUTERS/Guillermo Granja
Researchers at UC Irvine have recently discovered a device that can literally unboil a hen egg that has been boiled for 20 minutes.
The discovery could soon provide solution if one messes up while boiling eggs and then return the eggs to the fridge but the researchers said their discovery may not have much practical use in the kitchen for now.
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Gregory Weiss, a chemical professor at UC Irvine said the device they discovered can pull apart tangled proteins, allowing the proteisn to refold.
The device was tested on egg whites boild for 20 minutes at 90 degrees Celsius. The researchers succeeded in returning a key protein in the boiled edd to working order.
"It's not so much that we're interested in processing the eggs; that's just demonstrating how powerful this process is. The real problem is there are lots of cases of gummy proteins that you spend way too much time scraping off your test tubes, and you want some means of recovering that material," explained Weiss.
Weiss' team used a urea substance that chewed away at the whites and then liquefied the solid material. The method was conducted to recreate a clear protein known as lsyozyme once an egg has been boiled.
The researchers then used an Australia-developed high-powered machine that can separate fluids and gases. The stress of the microfluid forces the proteins back into their usable, untangled form, Weiss said.
The discovery, scientists said, could save biotechnology firms US $160 billion, although it could take time before ordinary home owners will find a use for it.
The ability to quickly reform common proteins could streamline manufacturing, making everything from cancer treatments to cheese production less expensive, sources said.
UC Irvine has filed a patent on its work and is currently seeking interested commercial partners to make it a reality.
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