Which Snack Food’s Shape Was Modeled Using Super Computers?
Pringles potato chips just might be the geekiest snack food around. The saddle shape of the popular chip is known as a hyperbolic paraboloid–a shape more routinely found in satellite dishes and astronomical mirrors than food. Crafting a chip into such a shape was the clever idea of chemist Frederic Baur, who had been tasked by Procter & Gamble to build the potato chip of tomorrow.
Over the years the shape was further refined and Procter & Gamble even employed a super computer to help crunch the numbers on the curvature of Pringles. Those calculations helped design a better Pringle chip that would hug the factory machines more aerodynamically and slip into the iconic Pringles cans with less breakage.
That attention to detail clearly pays off; more than 1.4 billion dollars worth of Pringles are sold each year.