Vegemite and Marmite Research

(Image credit: Flickr user Dale Mastin)

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!

Research About Two Geographically Beloved Foodstuffs
compiled by Alice Shirrell Kaswell, Improbable Research staff

Vegemite and National Identity
“Vegemite as a Marker of National Identity,” Paul Rozin and Michael Siegal, Gastronomica, vol. 3, no. 4, Fall 2003, pp. 63–67. The authors, at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Sheffield, UK, report:

The preferences of the Australianborn subjects are shown in Table 1, based on a scale ranging from 1 = dislike extremely to 9 = like extremely. These individuals liked Vegemite quite a lot, and the taste for Vegemite was higher in females than in males.... Liking for Vegemite did not correlate substantially with a liking for any of the other sampled foods [chocolate, apples, milk, steak, carrots, etc.]; the highest correlation, not surprisingly, was with Marmite.

Rheology of Marmite (2008)
“Solid–Liquid Transitions in the Rheology of a Structured Yeast Extract Paste, Marmite™,” David E. White, Geoff D. Moggridge, and D. Ian Wilson, Journal of Food Engineering, vol. 88, no. 3, October 2008, pp. 353-363. (Thanks to Janine and Alexandre Prejean for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Cambridge, UK, report:

The rheology of Marmite™, a popular yeast extract spread, was studied using a range of techniques. Steady-state data indicated a structured, thixotropic material at ambient temperature; the extent of breakdown and restructuring exhibited a dependence on both stress and strain. At higher temperatures the extent of thixotropy decreased and behaviour approached Newtonian. Nonsteady-state data indicated a period of shear-thickening at shear rates below those at which shear-thinning occurs. Creep tests indicated a transition between solid and liquid regimes at a critical stress that is a strong function of the solids content of the sample.

Rheology of Marmite and of Vegemite (2017)

Detail from the study “3D Printing Vegemite and Marmite: Redefining ‘Breadboards’.”

“3D Printing Vegemite and Marmite: Redefining ‘Breadboards’,” Charles Alan Hamilton, Gursel Alici, and Marc in het Panhuis, Journal of Food Engineering, epub 2017. The authors, at the University of Wollongong, Australia, report:

Here, we present a rheological analysis of two commercially available breakfast spreads,  Vegemite and Marmite, and show their compatibility with FLM [Food Layered Manufacturing] in producing 3D structures onto bread substrates. Furthermore, we demonstrated that these materials can be used to fabricate attractive food designs that can be used for educational activities. The inherent conductivity of the breakfast spreads was used to print edible circuits onto a “breadboard.”

Further detail from the study “3D Printing Vegemite and Marmite: Redefining ‘Breadboards’.”


This article is republished with permission from the July-August 2017 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can download or purchase back issues of the magazine, or subscribe to receive future issues. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift!

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