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Thursday, 30 November, 2000, 04:48 GMT
Gallons of gravy wasted
A roast dinner
Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes are the best absorbers
More than 700,000 litres (150,000 gallons) of gravy is wasted every week when it is poured over the Sunday roast in the UK, a study has found.

Physicists at Bristol University believe the reason for the waste is the lack of sauce absorbed by the food.


We're eating our roast dinner in the wrong order

Bisto spokesman
They worked out a formula where gravy uptake was measured against the weight of the uncooked food and the cooked weight.

Dr Len Fisher led a team that used sensitive equipment to measure the weight of gravy absorbed, according to preparation, time, and heat.

They found that Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes were the main absorbers of gravy and absorption times could be accelerated by 20% if the gravy used was hot.

Contact time

The scientists also discovered that for the most efficient gravy absorption, the food had to be eaten in the right order, starting with the meat which does not absorb any gravy.

Green vegetables, which absorb up to 15% of their dry weight within 30 seconds, should be eaten next followed by parsnips.

Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes should be eaten last as they take five and 10 minutes respectively to absorb gravy and soak up 90% and 30% of their dry weight.

The research was commissioned by gravy makers Bisto in response to calls from people asking what to do about wasted gravy.

"There is a scientific reason for gravy wastage," a spokesman said.

"We're eating our roast dinner in the wrong order. According to the research, each ingredient's ability to mop is dependent upon the length of contact with gravy, density of the food item and heat of the gravy."

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