HOME BREWED BEER IN RECORD TIME WITH THIS MACHINE

Home beer-brewing is sort of like writing a novel – although you might like the idea of having done it, the thought of all the work involved in doing it can be off-putting. If the PR materials are to be believed, however, the WilliamsWarn brewing machine could make the process a lot easier … and quicker. Unlike the four weeks required by most home brewing systems, it can reportedly produce beer in just seven days.

The WilliamsWarn was created by New Zealand “beer-thinkers” Ian Williams and Anders Warn, and was released in that country this April. The duo claim that it addresses 12 of the key challenges thwarting many home brewers, including the carbonation process, temperature control, and clarification.

Kind of like a Mr. Coffee (perhaps they should have called it “Mr. Beer”), the machine reportedly incorporates all the hardware needed for brewing. This includes a stainless steel pressure vessel with carbonation level control, and systems to control factors such as clarification, sediment removal, temperature, and gas dispensation. Last, but certainly not least, it also features a draft dispense mechanism, for pouring out a glass of the chilled “commercial quality” finished product.

Users spend about 90 minutes cleaning and sterilizing the system, and adding supplied ingredients at the beginning of the process. After that, minimal input is required until a week later, at which point 23 liters (6 U.S. gallons) of beer should be ready for drinking. Part of the reason that it’s able to make beer so quickly is the fact that the carbonation and fermentation processes take place simultaneously. The clarification process is also said to take no more than one day.

The WilliamsWarn brewing machine is currently only available in New Zealand, although its makers hope to expand to the Australian and American markets soon. It sells for NZ$5,660 (US$4,577), plus NZ$39.50 (US$32) for the ingredients for each batch of beer.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Inhaling alcohol instead of drinking it

By Mike Hanlon

A new way of consuming alcohol that offers an immediate hit with no hangover the next day has been introduced in the United Kingdom.The new method is known asAWOL, an acronym for ‘Alcohol With Out Liquid’, and could become a hit in the global club scene due to the euphoric ‘high’ created when alcohol is vaporised, mixed with oxygen and inhaled. Billed at launch as the ‘ultimate party toy’, AWOL machines serve bar customers via tubes and could be seen as a modern version of the ‘Nargile’ or ‘Hookah’ water-pipe which originated in India and became an important part of society in Turkey and Middle Eastern countries in the 17th century, eventually becoming the height of fashion at sheik Western society parties during the late 19th and early 20th century.

Like the Hookah, the AWOL machine has a central body and a number of tubes running from it.The user chooses which spirit will be used and the spirit is loaded into a diffuser capsule in the machine. The oxygen bubbles are then passed through the capsule, absorbing the alcohol, before being inhaled through a tube. The resultant cloudy alcohol vapour is then inhaled from the end of the tube via a device akin to an asthma inhaler.

Once inhaled, the alcoholic gas goes straight into the bloodstream to give an instant ‘hit’. The potent combination of oxygen and alcohol creates a feeling of well-being which intensifies the longer the vapour is inhaled.This high-tech 21st century ‘Hookah’ is the brainchild of 30 year old UK entrepreneur Dominic Simler, and has a patent pending.

“The vapour produces an instant ‘high’ with no hangover the next day,’ said Simler, who will market the machines to clubs and bars in the UK to provide ‘partygoers and hedonists with a radical new way to consume alcohol.”

The outcry by the British media has been predictably damning of the new device, with an article in the Sunday Times dated 15 February quoting the Chief executive of the UK Alcohol Advisory Service referring to AWOL as ‘solvent abuse for adults.’Professor Oliver James, the head of clinical medical sciences at Newcastle University in the UK was quoted in the article as saying, ‘by snorting the alcohol it can go directly into the brain without being filtered by the liver. What is getting into your brain could be the equivalent of many times more than by drinking it.’

Professor James has since stressed that the comments that he made to the Sunday Times were purely speculative and theoretical, that his statements were made without first seeing or trying AWOL and that he made it clear to the reporter that he has no previous professional experience or clinical evidence of alcohol being consumed via vapour.

Professor James has now agreed to carry out independent tests on AWOL and Simler is hoping that the tests will ‘remove any element of doubt regarding the safety of AWOL.’Until the results of the university tests on AWOL are available the company has advised all customers that the application should only be used to inhale alcohol vapour orally and not via the nose. Professor James has confirmed that AWOL is safe to be consumed in this manner.

The first venue to offer the AWOL experience is il Bordello, an exclusive members-only club built on a Dutch barge located in Bristol. Club proprietor Liz Lewitt has been ‘overwhelmed’ with bookings for AWOL – the shots are consumed at the rate of approximately one shot per hour (maximum) and cost UKP’6 a shot.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

New lacquer-based antibacterial

active film keeps food fresher for longer

By Ben Coxworth

18:36 October 7, 2010

Fraunhofer's antibacterial food packaging film kills bacteria on food by releasing sorbic ...

Fraunhofer’s antibacterial food packaging film kills bacteria on food by releasing sorbic acid

Researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging have developed a new type of food packaging film that kills food-inhabiting bacteria. While antimicrobial polymers in food packaging have been around for some time, the new material is unique in that it incorporates sorbic acid that has been dissolved into a lacquer, which is then deposited onto the film. When that lacquer first touches the food, a timed release of the acid begins, which neutralizes a significant number of the microorganisms on the food’s surface. The result, according to the researchers, is the ability to keep meat, fish and cheese fresher for longer.

Fraunhofer food chemist Carolin Hauser chose sorbic acid not just because it kills germs, but also because it’s non-toxic, non-allergenic, water-soluble, and doesn’t have a strong smell or taste. It is already used as a preservative in many foods, and is considered environmentally-safe, as it breaks down rapidly in soil.

Hauser used fresh pieces of pork loin for her evaluation of the film. She contaminated each of them with 1,000 colony-forming units of the E. coli bacteria, then wrapped some of them in regular film and some in her product. Differences in color between the two groups were apparent after several days in an 8C (46F) fridge. When she did a microbial analysis, she discovered that the E. coli population on the pork wrapped in her film had decreased to about one quarter its original size.

“After a week or so, the total germ count on the surface had decreased significantly compared to the meat packed in untreated film,” she said. “This indicates that our active film is suitable for maintaining the freshness – and above all the safety – of meat preparations, cheeses, fish fillets and other cold cuts.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

New packaging would indicate

when food is spoiled

By Ben Coxworth

13:09 January 13, 2011

Prof. Andrew Mills with food packaged in his smart plastic (Photo: University of Strathcly...

Prof. Andrew Mills with food packaged in his smart plastic (Photo: University of Strathclyde)

Given that German scientists have already developed packaging film that kills food-inhabiting bacteria, it only makes sense that Scottish scientists should be developing the next step in the process – food packaging that changes color when the food is going bad. The “intelligent plastic” film, which is being created at Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde, is intended to take the guesswork out of whether or not the food packaged within it is still safe to eat.

The new plastic is intended to be used in conjunction with modified atmosphere packaging, an existing process in which the shelf life of food is lengthened by replacing the air inside its packaging with a protective gas mixture – often, most or all of the oxygen is drawn out and replaced with nitrogen or carbon dioxide.

Such packaging typically includes inserted labels that indicate freshness. TheStrathclyde team see their plastic as being a less expensive alternative to those labels, as it could simply be integrated into the production of the packaging, instead of having to be made and inserted separately.

While the researchers are keeping zip-locked about just how their plastic would know when food was going off, they have stated that it would react not only to food that has been left too long, but also to food that has become tainted due to damaged packaging or lack of refrigeration.

“We hope that this will reduce the risk of people eating food which is no longer fit for consumption and help prevent unnecessary waste of food,” said project leader Prof. Andrew Mills. “We also hope it will have a direct and positive impact on the meat and seafood industries.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

‘Killer paper’ could prolong shelf life of foods

By Ben Coxworth

16:04 January 19, 2011


Silver is a known killer of harmful bacteria, and has already been incorporated into things such as antibacterial keyboardswashing machineswater filters, and plastic coatings for medical devices. Now, scientists have added another potential product to the list: silver nanoparticle-impregnated “killer paper” packaging, that could help keep food from spoiling.

Led by Aharon Gedanken from Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, the team discovered that paper could be covered with silver nanoparticles through the application of ultrasonic radiation – a process known as ultrasonication. It involves the formation and subsequent collapse of acoustic bubbles near a solid surface, which creates microjets that throw the desired nanoparticles onto that surface. To the team’s knowledge, this was only the second time that ultrasonication had ever been attempted on paper.

Unlike previous attempts at creating antibacterial paper, this one-step method was reportedly quite effective, and produced a smooth, homogenous, long-lasting coating. By varying the nanoparticle concentration and the application time, the thickness of the coating could be varied as needed. When exposed to E. coli and S. aureus bacteria, both of which cause food poisoning, the paper killed them all off within three hours.

The scientists stated that the ultrasonication process could also be used to apply other nanomaterials to paper, which could be used to tweak its hydrophobicity, conductivity, or texture.

While the addition of ionic silver to foods has been used in the past to ward off bacteria, the paper would reportedly serve as a longer-term solution, as it would act as a slow-release reservoir for the silver. Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging has previously looked into the use of sorbic acid-coated plastic as an antibacterial food wrap.

The killer paper research was recently published in the journal Langmuir.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


The Q2 puts a new twist on Internet radio
The Internet has opened up a brave new radio world to listeners who otherwise suffer airwave restrictions. With tens of thousands of stations now pumping out just about every kind of music imaginable around the clock, tuning in can be overwhelming and complicated. The Q2 Internet Radio from Armour Home Electronics offers to make the process a whole lot easier and a lot more fun. Read More

Rubber device mimics bird song

Zebra finches, beware! That tweeting noise you’re responding to might not be coming from another finch at all, but from a rubber tube-based bird-call-imitating device. The gizmo was devised by a team of physicists at Harvard University in an effort to understand the physics of bird song. Read More


Digital dessert – the Cricut Cake Printer

Modern technology has advanced so quickly, so why shouldn’t it also advance our cake decorating skills. The Cricut Cake printer will do just that … and it might inspire a new wave of neighborhood cake competitions and children’s parties. The printer is designed to make cake decorating as simple as printing a piece of paper, but instead of using paper and ink, it cuts shapes, words, motifs and decorations into frosting sheets, cookie dough, modeling chocolate and soft candies. Read More

These articles sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha



Small Vegetable Plant

to Debut for Use in Restaurants

Jun 14, 2010 11:33 Chikara Nakayama, Nikkei Monozukuri

Dentsu Facility Management Inc will start taking orders for the “Chef’s Farm,” a small vegetable plant that can be installed in, for example, a restaurant, in June 2010.

The vegetable plant, which will be released in the summer of 2010 in Japan, was exhibited at International Food Machinery & Technology Exhibition 2010 (FOOMA JAPAN 2010), which took place from June 8 to 11, 2010, in Tokyo. It is priced at about ¥8.3 million (approx US$90,552). Dentsu Facility Management claims that it is possible to harvest 60 heads of lettuce per day (20,000 per year) and recoup the investment in about five years.

The Chef’s Farm comes with five nutriculture beds, each of which is 2,750mm in width and 1,270mm in depth. Each bed is installed with long and thin metal frames on which lettuce seeds can be planted in sponges (one piece of sponge for a seed).

The metal frames are moved from right to left by inches as the vegetables grow. Seeds are planted in the rightmost frame, and grown vegetables are harvested from the leftmost frame.

Though the metal frames have to be manually moved, they can be moved at the same time by using a chained mechanism. It takes about an hour to harvest 60 heads of lettuce, move the frames and plant seeds, Dentsu Facility Management said.

As lighting equipment, 12 40W fluorescent lamps are installed for each nutriculture bed. The lighting equipment, culture solution and temperature can be controlled for each bed. Therefore, five different vegetables can be cultivated by using the five beds.

The size of the Chef’s Farm is 3,940 (W) x 1,460 (D) x 2,330mm (H) including the air shower unit. The cultivation space can be slid forward to make a space behind the nutriculture beds.

Received & published by Henry Sapiecha

BATTERY POWER FROM POTATOESWATCH VIDEO

Potato battery -- new and improvedCLICK HERE FOR MOVIE

Potato battery — new and improved

Video Description

July 28 – Israeli researchers develop a more efficient version of the age-old child’s science experiment, the potato battery, which could provide a cheap source of electricity in the developing world. Stuart McDill reports.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Plant Extract May Be Effective Against

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Science (July 11, 2010) — A South Dakota State University scientist’s research shows an extract made from a food plant in the Brassica family was effective in alleviating signs of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel condition, in mice.


The ongoing study by associate professor Moul Dey in SDSU’s Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences — funded by the National Institutes of Health — moves on now to examine the potential use of the plant extract against colon cancer.

“There is an established link between ulcerative colitis and colon cancer. People who have ulcerative colitis are at significantly higher risk to have colon cancer,” Dey said. “Whether this plant extract might help with colon cancer symptoms directly or perhaps delay the onset of colon cancer in ulcerative colitis patients, we don’t know the answers to those questions, but it is something we would like to look into.”

Dey and her team will carry out that research over the next two and a half years as she continues her work on a Pathway to Independence award for promising young scientists. That National Institutes of Health grant of nearly $900,000 over five years was awarded to Dey for work she began as a researcher at Rutgers University.

As a researcher at Rutgers starting in 2004, Dey developed a mammalian cell-based screening platform and screened nearly 3,000 plant extracts for potential anti-inflammatory activity. A plant-derived compound called Phenethylisothiocyanate, or PEITC, was one among others that showed potential anti-inflammatory activities. The NIH funded Dey’s proposal to study it further.

PEITC is found in the Brassica genus of plants, which includes cabbage, cauliflower, watercress and broccoli. Barbarea verna, also known as upland cress or early wintercress, a herb that is used in salads, soups, and garnishes, is one of the richest sources of dietary PEITC in Dey’s study.

Scientists had already studied the compound for its anticarcinogenic properties prior to Dey’s investigation on its anti-inflammatory activities.

“I tested this substance in a mouse model that is already established and widely used. What we found is that it not only alleviates several clinical signs of ulcerative colitis — for example, it attenuates the damage that occurs in the colon tissues and colon epithelium, as well as the clinical signs like diarrhea and blood in stool. The weight loss is a major sign in colitis and that was alleviated, too.” However, she noted that although mammalian animal models are routinely used for an initial test of biological effects of compounds targeted for potential human use, obtained results may not always repeat in humans.

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is a set of chronic and relapsing inflammatory disorders of the intestine that affects an estimated 2 million people annually in the United States. Two common forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

When Dey and her colleagues looked into the mechanism by which the compound might be working against IBD, they found that it downregulates many of the genes that are known to be upregulated in human patients with colitis. That means the compound acts on cells to decrease the quantity of cellular components such as specific proteins that are produced abundantly in colitis patients. One such protein is a novel transcription factor. Transcription factors are one of the groups of proteins that read and interpret the genetic “blueprint” in the DNA.

“We are excited about these findings and our next step would be to see how this plant and the compounds from this plant may be effective against colon cancer, alleviating colon cancer or preventing the onset of colon cancer,” Dey said.

“I am not a cancer biologist per se. My interests are really in cellular mechanisms of inflammatory diseases. The only reason we are going to study colon cancer in this particular project is because ulcerative colitis is very closely linked to colon cancer.”

Colon carcinogenesis is highly preventable, yet colon cancer has one of the highest death rates among all cancers due to typical late diagnosis.

Since people already eat vegetables containing PEITC, there is a long history of human consumption with no adverse effects.

“Obviously the dose we are testing is significantly higher than what we eat in a vegetable, but we have done multiple safety tests and found that this dose is safe in animals,” Dey said.

Dey has no plans to test the extract in humans as part of the current project, but said additional tests would be required if the extract leads to new drugs or treatments in humans.

Dey’s co-authors are Peter Kuhn of Phytomedics Inc., of Jamesburg, N.J.; David Ribnicky, Kenneth Reuhl and Ilya Raskin of Rutgers University, and VummidiGiridhar Premkumar, who is currently at University of Cincinnati

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood

Pressure, Research Finds

Science (June 28, 2010) — For people with hypertension, eating dark chocolate can significantly reduce blood pressure. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Medicine combined the results of 15 studies into the effects of flavanols, the compounds in chocolate which cause dilation of blood vessels, on blood pressure.


Dr Karin Ried worked with a team of researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, to conduct the analysis. She said, “Flavanols have been shown to increase the formation of endothelial nitric oxide, which promotes vasodilation and consequently may lower blood pressure. There have, however, been conflicting results as to the real-life effects of eating chocolate. We’ve found that consumption can significantly, albeit modestly, reduce blood pressure for people with high blood pressure but not for people with normal blood pressure.”

The pressure reduction seen in the combined results for people with hypertension, 5mm Hg systolic, may be clinically relevant — it is comparable to the known effects of 30 daily minutes of physical activity (4-9mm Hg) and could theoretically reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event by about 20% over five years.

The researchers are cautious, however, “The practicability of chocolate or cocoa drinks as long-term treatment is questionable,” said Dr Ried.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha