Boiling an egg does not require much work but scientists have finally figured out a way to “unboil” one, and they are not using it for a meal.
Chemists and researchers at the University of California, Irvine, reversed the effects that boiling has on the proteins found in egg whites, according to the Huffington Post.
“Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg,” Dr. Gregory Weiss, UCI professor of chemistry and molecular biology and biochemistry, said in a statement.
While proteins stay intact when boiled, they change their shape, The Blaze notes. Older methods of reversing the process and returning a boiled egg to its previous state took about four days, but the new one only takes a few minutes.
“In our paper, we describe a device for pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold,” Weiss said. “We start with egg whites boiled for 20 minutes at 90 degrees Celsius and return a key protein in the egg to working order.”
The chemists say this scientific discovery is important. Reconstituting proteins could streamline the process of manufacturing proteins used in the production of cheese and other foods. It could also help make cancer treatments more affordable in the long run, researchers said.
“I can’t predict how much money it will save, but I can say this will save a ton of time, and time is money,” Weiss said in an interview with CNBC.
The research was supported by the National Institute of General Medicine Sciences and Australian Research Council via grants.