What happens when you dip a cheeseburger in hydrochloric acid? The team behind Periodic Videos responded to this question with a YouTube video. No introduction is needed for the cheeseburger, it’s an American staple, but what exactly is hydrochloric acid or HCL? In history, fifteenth century chemist and Benedictine monk Basil Valentine was known for preparing HCL with marine salt and oil of vitriol. According to MeSH, the result was a “strong corrosive acid that is commonly used as a laboratory reagent.” EPA Air Toxics says that HCL is used in a variety of household products including chlorides, dyes, and fertilizers. It is also used used in industries that produce photographs, textiles, and rubber. Another thing you should know is that this acid is present in your stomach. Keep in mind that because the experiment was conducted with pure HCL, it cannot be compared with what actually happens in your stomach where enzymes are present.HCL is a toxic substance so it must be handled with caution. MSDS Online recommends that those handling this acid should have the following: vapor respirator, rubber gloves, boots, a full suit, and a face shield.
The video was not meant to be a campaign against fast food or McDonald’s. It just happened to be a convenient (and cheap) test subject.
Keep in mind that HCL is an industrial acid and is commonly used to produce batteries, bulbs, and fireworks. On the other hand, it is also used to make gelatin and process sugar.
In its pure form, it’s toxic, but we all need it in our systems. When we don’t have enough HCL, we face the risk of becoming mineral and vitamin deficient.
The HCL in your body is different. It’s diluted. More importantly, it is used to activate pepsinogen and generate pepsin. Pepsin is the enzyme that breaks down the proteins and helps you digest.
Isn’t it amazing to think about how substances react in different contexts, with and without enzymes in this case?
After watching this video, at least 12 people on YouTube agreed that it made them want to go eat a cheeseburger.
**Before you go, make sure to check out the video in full.**