Why MIT Researchers Are Studying Oreos

Since childhood, many people have been puzzled by a lingering question about one of America’s favorite snack foods: Is it possible to twist an Oreo cookie and split the sweet, creamy filling evenly in half between both chocolate wafers? Now, fluid dynamics experts at MIT think they finally have an answer. Researchers suggest that it’s nearly impossible to split Oreo’s famous creme so that half ends up on each wafer. In essentially all possible twisting configurations, the creme tends to divide from one wafer, resulting in one nearly bare wafer and one with almost all of the creme. In the case where creme ends up on both wafers, it tends to divide in half so that each wafer has a half-moon of creme, rather than a thin later. That means there’s no secret to getting creme evenly everywhere by just twisting the cookie open. You have to mush it manually if that’s what you want. Cookies tested included Oreo’s regular cookie, Double Stuf and Mega Stuf. They tried dipping the cookies in milk, and even tweaked the device used to twist the cookie to include more rotations. Nothing made a difference. The creme still stuck primarily to one wafer. The researchers attribute this to the Oreo production process, which creates one “creme-heavy side” of each cookie.