out there. We are three students from Surrey, BC who are
attending a Youth Forum at Bamfield, BC. During our stay
here, we discovered a fascinating substance: HAGFISH SLIME.
is a primitive fish that lives in deep water close to
the ocean floor near land. Their appearance is similar
to that of a lamprey, they are long, slim, and a pinky
grey colour. When sufficiently scared, they secrete small
packets of sugar and protein into the seawater. The sugar
has an affinity for water and turns the entire mix into
a mass of gooey slime. Protein strands form in the slime,
and give the slime mass its strength and elasticity.
Being the curious
and ... interesting... students that we are, we began
to ponder the potential uses of this incredible substance.
One of the uses that we came up with was using the slime
as an egg substitute in baking, as the composition of
the slime is mainly protein and water.
test this theory, we decided to try a cooking experiment
comparing scones made with ordinary chicken eggs to scones
made with hagfish slime.
To start, we
prepared a basic scone mix and created two seperate portions
with everything included except the eggs and slime. Then,
we mixed the hagfish slime (about one egg's worth) into
one of the portions of the scone mix, using our hands,
and we did the same with the egg and the other portion
of scone mix. The egg and the slime did not have enough
moisture on their own, so we added some water to each
of the mixtures. We rolled both portions into balls measuring
about 3.5 cm in diameter, slightly less than the size
of the palms of our hands. We placed them on an ungreased
pan and put them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
(200 degrees Celsius) for about ten minutes, then we
checked on them. They weren't done, so we left them in
for another 2.5 minutes, at which point they were finished.
Of the two people immediately asked which scone was made
with which, they each correctly guessed which ones were
made with slime. We theorized that this could be attributed
to the fact that the hagfish scones were kneaded more
and had more water in them. We also offered a scone to
Mike, a Marine Station employee, and he decided that "it
was great" and that "it was not icky [sic]
at all." He also mentioned that he "could feel
the slime pumping through his veins" and that he
felt "rejuvenated". Personally, none of us
could taste a negative difference, and in fact we agreed
that the ones made with hagfish slime tasted better!!
uses for the slime of the hagfish are; as a substitute
for eggs in other situations, as the colligative agent
in raw hamburgers (perhaps Spam?), as an emulsifier or
a thickening agent in other cooking, or perhaps in eggnog.
There might also be a future for hagfish slime as a flycatcher
due to its sticky properties, or as a prop in theatre
and film industries requiring slime (ex. Ghostbusters,
There's Something About Mary, Alien series).
we have found that hagfish slime has great possibilities:
it is an untapped and marvellous resource. Its many potential
uses could help the hagfish rise above its slimy reputation
(pardon the pun) and move onwards to greatness!!!
Yuen, Lindi Smith, Daniel Tiedemann (email@example.com)