Ever wonder what the remnants of your meal look like after they disintegrate within your digestive channels? Fine, maybe such thoughts have never crossed your mind for the sake of your appetite, but for those who are intrigued by this internal process, here’s a peek at how it goes down.

The University of Nottingham’s science YouTube channel, Periodic Videos, has put up a video in which a McDonald’s cheeseburger is dissolved in a concentrated solution of hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is found in gastric acid—a digestive fluid that forms in the stomach—and aids the digestive process.

Soaking the burger in HCl gives us a look at the first stages of digestion, where “food is broken down into usable components to give you energy,” says the U. of Nottingham professor.

After churning in the hydrochloric acid for three and a half hours, the cheeseburger wasted away significantly, and turned the acid liquid into a mucky dark brown color. The fats in the cheeseburger didn’t and won’t fully dissolve, however—ultimately, hydrochloric acid is just one of the many components in the digestive track that help to successfully break down ingested food.


[via First to Know]