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The speed of Heinz ketchup is .028 miles per hour.

If it comes out of the iconic glass bottle at any other rate, the company won’t sell it. But lucky for you—and your fries—science can help speed things up. “Ketchup is a Bingham plastic, meaning it behaves like a solid under low stress and a liquid under high stress,” says Michael Graham, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and editor of the Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics. The trick is to shake the bottle and then smack it—the glass will exert force on the re- liquefied ketchup and help to “push” it out. Heinz won’t reveal its speed-calibrating methods. For now at least, they remain saucy secrets. 

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