Monday, May 16, 2022

Does science answer how you can split cream perfectly between Oreo cookies? Here’s what a study found

The study attempts -- through legitimate theories and mathematical equations -- to understand adhesive failure, and why 95 per cent of the cream sticks to one wafer

Cookies stored in boxes in "potentially adverse conditions" such as high temperature and humidity, are likely to show "cohesive failure", resulting in the cream getting divided between wafer halves. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

There are many bizarre ways in which people eat their food or prefer it. But, when it comes to sandwich cookies, there is a particular science behind how it is to be consumed, the proportion of the cream, its cohesiveness, etc.

According to a recent study published in the journal American Institute of Physics (AIP), scientific study of “creme-filled cookie sandwich” has been given a name: Oreology — after Nabisco Oreo for ‘cookie’ and the Greek words ‘rheo logia’ for ‘flow study’.

In short, the journal calls it the “study of the flow and fracture of sandwich cookies”.

What does it entail?

It involves “using a laboratory rheometer” to measure “failure mechanics of the eponymous Oreo’s ‘creme’ and probe the influence of rotation rate, amount of creme”, and “postmortem creme distribution”.

Basically, the study attempts — through legitimate theories and mathematical equations — to understand adhesive failure, and why 95 per cent of the creme sticks to one wafer. Interestingly, it also notes that the creme-heavy side is “uniformly oriented” inside most of the boxes of Oreos!

But, the cookies that are stored in boxes in “potentially adverse conditions” such as high temperature and humidity, are likely to show “cohesive failure”, thereby resulting in the creme getting divided between wafer halves.

Crystal Owens, the lead author of the AIP study and a researcher in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was quoted in a CNN report as saying, “When I was little, I tried twisting wafers to split the cream evenly between wafers so there’s some on both halves — which in my opinion tastes much better than having one wafer with a lot of creme and one with almost none. This was hard to do when I was trying it by hand.”

Per the study, researchers came up with something called an ‘Oreometer’ — designed to split cookie creme evenly between the two cookie wafers. “We learned, sadly, that even if you twist an Oreo perfectly, the cream will almost always end up mostly on one of the two wafers, with a delamination of the cream, and there’s no easy way to get it to split between wafers,” Owens was quoted as saying.