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It's impossible to separate cookies with split fillings, according to… science!

It's impossible to separate cookies with split fillings, according to… science!

MIT engineers tried to solve a problem that many may already have encountered. If you've ever tried to separate the filled cookies so that the cream is split between the two parts, you know that one always ends up with more filling than the other. Dividing the cream equally between the two halves sounds like a difficult task, but in reality, as the team discovered, it is simply impossible.


  • MIT engineers discovered that it was impossible to split the wafer's filling evenly between the two halves by twisting;
  • The team used a device called an Oreometer — like the Oreo cookie brand — that rotates each half of the cookie in opposite directions;
  • About 20 Oreo boxes of different types were used in the experiment, and in most cases, the filling finished in only one half;
  • The researchers believe that if the inside of the biscuit was more textured, it would likely be possible to divide the filling more evenly by hand;
  • The experiment was published in Fluid physics.
The team was unable to divide the cookie filling into equal parts. (Photo: Incanya Anankitrojana/Shutterstock)

Researchers used 3D printing to create a device called… Orimeter scale (Oreometer, in Portuguese – from the Oreo Cookie brand). Using coins and rubber bands, the contraption keeps the cookie in place while you rotate the two halves in opposite directions to separate them and try to get an exact division of the filling — which, of course, doesn't happen.

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MIT asserts: It is impossible to completely separate the filling from the cookies

The experiment included about 20 Oreo boxes with different flavors and different filling levels. The team ran equations to calculate viscosity, elasticity and fluidity, noting the separate amounts of cream in each half. The conclusion was that, regardless of the type of cookie, the filling almost always ends up being only one portion.

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An urometer is used to separate cookies. (Image: Owens et al./MIT)

The engineers also noticed that the filling tends to stick to the half facing the inside of the package, meaning the cookies on the left side end up with the filling on the right side and vice versa. This can be caused by post-manufacturing effects, such as shock or heating of the package, causing the cream to separate slightly from one of the halves.

As Crystal Owens, one of the experiment members, explains statementIf the inside of the biscuit is more textured, the filling will likely adhere better to the halves and, when separated by hand, be divided more evenly. “As it stands, there is no devious trick that can divide the cream evenly.”