The science makes sense. The proteins in an egg bind up with each other as heat is applied, this is called denaturation. To break these bonds, you should be able to reverse the denaturation of the proteins, restoring them to a simpler state. The article recommends sodium borohydride, but says that Vitamin C (also know as ascorbic acid) will work.
I decided to give unboiling an egg a try.
First, I boiled an egg using the highly calibrated egg timer my wife supplied me with.
Next I ground up 10 tablets of Vitamin C with my mortar and pestle. Each being a 1,000 milligrams, adding up to 10 grams of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is soluble in water, so I mixed the powder into 1 cup of hot water. I stirred the solution for several minutes until all that I could dissolve was dissolved.
I place the hard boiled egg with the Vitamin C solution into a tall POM glass. (Update: For clarity, I did shell the egg before putting it inside the glass.)
I set the glass on a plate in the dining room and prepared to wait. I was expecting great things. I even set up a timelapse camera to record the experiment. I let the experiment set for 11 hours (7PM to 6AM).
Rather than write what I saw, it's simpler to just show you...
Yep, nothing happened.
The egg was whole and appeared completely unaffected. The texture of the egg outside felt normal and in no way 'unboiled'.
While I am a professional engineer, I am a amateur scientist.
There are several reasons this process might not have unboiled the egg.
In any case, I gave it a try. What are your thoughts?Posted by michael at February 17, 2008 10:08 AM