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spaceSpace and Physics

Video Shows What Happens To Hamburger In Stomach Acid

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Justine Alford

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clockAug 6 2014, 13:06 UTC
1713 Video Shows What Happens To Hamburger In Stomach Acid
Kici, via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s become a bit of a fad to experiment with junk food, for example leaving out burgers and fries from Maccy D’s for months on end just to see what happens (not a lot, as it turns out).

Now, as part of a series of experiments to showcase the effects of various elements and chemicals, researchers from the University of Nottingham decided to see how a McDonald’s burger would fare when dunked into concentrated hydrochloric acid. And it’s preeeeeetty disgusting:

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Hydrochloric acid is found in your stomach, and is involved in the digestive process. Its purpose is to create the ideal environment for digestive enzymes to break down food and also to kill bacteria. Hydrochloric acid is extremely corrosive and consequently it's used in a variety of industries. However, it doesn't eat through your stomach because a thick layer of protective mucus is secreted. 

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While the burger in the video turns into a stomach churning black sludge, it isn’t fully broken down. That’s probably because the burger is very high in fat and the researchers didn’t add substances found in our digestive system that break down fat, such as bile which is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. 


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