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Input Devices Science

Edible Antifreeze For Smoother Ice Cream 240

Posted by kdawson
from the if-they-can-put-a-man-on-the-moon dept.
holy_calamity writes "Proteins extracted from gelatin can dramatically improve the quality of ice cream by preventing the growth of ice crystals that ruin its texture. Perfect smooth ice cream has ice crystals around 20 microns in size, but slight thawing and refreezing makes them grow and ruins the mouth feel, making it gritty. The new proteins are similar to those in the blood of the snow flea, an insect able to keep active in sub-zero temperatures." Here are the abstract and the full article as published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
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Edible Antifreeze For Smoother Ice Cream

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  • by Courageous (228506) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:15PM (#22018280)
    The new proteins are similar to those in the blood of the snow flea,...

    Oh now that sounds delicious! Snow Flea Blood Ice Cream.

    Thank you, Slashdot, for making me not able to eat Ice Cream today.

    *wink*

    C//

    • Re:Mmm, Delicious (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:29PM (#22018398)
      Please STOP killing and disfiguring and horrible-izing my ice-cream (OK - some the words maybe in-appropriate in the context, but you get the idea). I just want a simple ice cream with real milk and not a "high fructose corn syrup, this sure isn't milk or cream but our just goo made to look like it" crap.

      Just check out the ingredients of any modern ice-cream and the you'll see what I mean.

      When I was younger, we made it at home from real milk, sugar and a bit of flavoring agent in a hand-turned ice-cream maker and it was yuumm. Very different from the goo they sell today

      The same holds for about all the things (at least foodstuffs). Oh, well - so much for progress ...
      • Swedish Glace, Vanilla 750ml [goodnessdirect.co.uk]

        Ingredients
        Water extract from premium graded soyabeans, sucrose, glucose, non-hydrogenated vegetable oils, emulsifiers: mono- and di-glycerides from vegetable oils, stabilisers: carob bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan, salt, vanilla flavouring.

        • by kimvette (919543) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @07:05PM (#22019382) Homepage Journal
          It doesn't look fine to me. The soybean oil and soybean-derived mono- and diglycerides put me in bed for 2-3 days when I eat it. What's worse is that manufacturers have been lobbying the FDA to not have to itemize ingredients, particularly soy-derived ingredients.

          Bring back real ice cream, please!
          • by xenocide2 (231786)
            The glycerides are what keep icecream from freezing into a solid...
      • Re:Mmm, Delicious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Naughty Bob (1004174) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:53PM (#22018642)
        In the olden days, if they'd have discovered that some olden day ingredient (bat grease, shark lung etc...) made your ice cream all smooth, I bet they'd have used it in a second. It would now be an accepted part of 'good old ice cream'.

        What I'm saying is that new technology need not necessarily be bad. This stuff might be good. Agree with you about most modern ice cream though. The swine.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rtb61 (674572)
          Of course the benefit with that, is all the idiots who ate (bat grease, shark lung etc...) would be long dead and they would not be experimenting on us. The modern era is not driven by quality, it is driven by greed, addictive, cheap ingredients and bugger the medium or long term consequences. How ever many die or suffer makes no differences as long as some corporate ass hat can walks away with a ton of profits now and they will grease as many political hands as they need to get away with it.

          Perhaps a mor

      • by Adambomb (118938)
        Reminds me of a bit of the Orson Scott Card books that parallel the Ender series (Enders Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets etc) where the main character is critiquing the ice cream of the day (sci fi) compared to the more traditional sorvete's. While the point does stand for a lot of the ultra-processed ICE CREAM(likesubstance) , I always wonder how much is the desire for nostalgia and remembering the treat and the whole affair as opposed to simply the ice cream itself (as Card effectively has t
      • Re:Mmm, Delicious (Score:5, Informative)

        by illegalcortex (1007791) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @06:09PM (#22018820)

        When I was younger, we made it at home from real milk, sugar and a bit of flavoring agent in a hand-turned ice-cream maker and it was yuumm. Very different from the goo they sell today
        Just curious, but have you ever tried making it at home NOW? These days they have some pretty spiffy ice cream makers in the $40 range. Here's the one I have:
        http://www.cuisinart.com/catalog/product.php?product_id=45&item_id=82&cat_id=10 [cuisinart.com]

        It has a sealed bucket filled with some goo with an incredibly low freezing point. You just leave it in the freezer and pull it out when you are ready for ice cream. Put the bucket on the machine and plug it in. You mix up your incredients, which are typically real milk/cream, sugar and a bit of flavoring and dump it in the bucket. Then you turn the machine on. Thirty minutes later, you have ice cream that is already cold enough to eat. MUCH more solid than a lot of the old hand-cranked ones. Stick what you don't eat immediately in a tupperware container in the freezer and finish it at your leisure. Clean up is, as they say, "a breeze."

        Alton Brown did a couple of Good Eats episodes on making ice cream this way. The second one is dedicated to making "premium" style ice cream at home.
        • I tried with one of those that uses the frozen insert and found it full of FAIL. The motor for the thing sits right below the insert and so as the motor begins working and heating up, the heat has to dissipate somewhere and we know what direction heat travels normally. So it'd heat up the insert and ruin any chances of making ice cream even in the winter time when I was making the egg nog ice cream recipe he described. I bought a 4 quart model with the old wooden bucket for the ice and the motor on top inst
          • by DebianDog (472284)
            We have EXCELLENT results with our Cusinart tub machine. The mixture MUST be 40 degrees or less before going into the machine and the machine must be turning when you are pouring it in.
        • Re:Mmm, Delicious (Score:4, Interesting)

          by pongo000 (97357) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @06:30PM (#22019044)
          Just curious, but have you ever tried making it at home NOW? These days they have some pretty spiffy ice cream makers in the $40 range.

          We pass up the fancy-schmancy ice cream makers and make paint-can ice cream:

          1) Fill paint can with ice water/salt
          2) Fill ziplock bag with ice cream ingredients
          3) Ziplock bag into paint can, pound on lid
          4) Let kids play soccer with it
          5) Eat and enjoy!
        • Conventional "old-fashioned" wisdom was that the hand-cranked ice cream was always smoother. The motorized churn and dasher turned at a consistent speed throughout the process, while the hand-cranked churn turned more and more slowly as the ice cream thickened and it got more difficult to handle. The idea was that this made for smoother ice cream with fewer crystals. LL Bean has a very intriguing human-powered ice cream maker that looks a bit like a soccer ball with a canister inside. The ball gets filled w
          • The motorized churn and dasher turned at a consistent speed throughout the process, while the hand-cranked churn turned more and more slowly as the ice cream thickened and it got more difficult to handle.
            Sounds to me like your application requires a constant torque control instead of a constant speed control. You just need to change the appropriate setting in your VFD.

            If technology doesn't solve the problem, then you aren't using enough.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Breyer's is about as close as you're going to get even then that's only on their "All Natural" line.

        (Vanilla)
        INGREDIENTS: MILK, CREAM, SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVOR, NATURAL TARA GUM.

        Here is their "Fat Free" Vanilla:

        INGREDIENTS: SKIM MILK, SUGAR, POLYDEXTROSE, CORN SYRUP, MALTODEXTRIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, CREAM, PROPYLENE GLYCOL MONOESTERS, MONO & DIGLYCERIDES, CELLULOSE GUM, CAROB BEAN GUM, GUAR GUM, CARRAGEENAN, ANNATTO (FOR COLOR), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, ICE STRUCTURING PROTEIN.
        • If you buy "fat free iceCREAM" you aren't going to get anything natural. Cream is fat, a fact you cannot avoid.
      • "When I was younger, we made it at home from real milk, sugar and a bit of flavoring agent in a hand-turned ice-cream maker and it was yuumm."

        Wow grampaw and I thought I was one of the old farts around here...
      • by bendodge (998616)
        Bryers Ice Cream used to be really good with nothing but kitchen ingredients. A few months ago my family noticed that it didn't taste as good as it used to, and turn out that they had added some extra goo ingredient to it. I wrote an absolutely scathing letter to them, but all they did was blather about the ice cream not being kept at the proper temp by distributors and send me a free coupon.

        We have since stopped buying their ice cream, and I guess we'll just have to go back to making our own.
      • by Spokehedz (599285)
        Bryers Natural. No fillers. No weird ingredients.

        There are three ingredients on the back of my Vanilla: Cream, Sucrose (sugar) and Vanilla.

        Or, make it yourself as you stated. Buy a good quality ice cream maker, and go nuts. One with a freezable core is better than the ice and rock salt mixture. And the best part: You can make whatever flavors you want.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jbengt (874751)

        When I was younger, we made it at home from real milk, sugar and a bit of flavoring . . .

        Ha, then yours wouldn't qualify to bear the label "Ice Cream", as milk doesn't have enough fat in it for the FDA.
        Sadly, adding junk processed butterfat type substances could bring it up to standards.

        And as far as snow flea-like food-derived chemicals, they're probably (but not necessarily) better than the propylene glycol that can sometimes be found listed as an ingredient in cheap popsicles, and occasionaly in c

      • by Bluesman (104513)
        Screw that, load me up with the fake stuff, please. I like my ingredients mined, not squirted out of some cow.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fbjon (692006)
        There's plenty of good ice cream, it's just not the cheapest/most popular stuff.
      • It costs money. But what the Wal*Mart generation doesn't understand is that sometimes it's worth paying more. Lucky for you though, there are more options now to getting more naturally derived ingredients through specialty stores or even the local supermarket, so you should be able to find something somewhere.

        This interview is apropos to your comment:

        http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200801043 [sciencefriday.com]
      • It's not too hard to make your own ice cream, but homemade or commercially made, there's a lot of science that goes into it.

        The primary problem with homemade ice cream is that it gets very hard (almost as hard as ice) in the freezer. To offset this, you have to put in something that doesn't freeze - fat (think egg yolks), alcohol, sugar, or air. I don't particularly like the taste of alcohol (and it's expensive), sugar and fat make an indulgence even more unhealthy, and not everyone likes an airy ice crea

      • The same holds for about all the things (at least foodstuffs). Oh, well - so much for progress ...

        Yeah, foodstuffs are one of the classic devolving, uh, things. Dystopian works like 1984, V for Vendetta (the movie anyway), etc, always have a scene where a protagonist eats real chocolate, butter, etc and realize they're getting duped.

        Real chocolate tastes really different from, say, Nestle chocolate, but I have to admit I like both of them about the same, on average.

      • by deft (253558)
        "When I was younger, we made it at home from real milk, sugar and a bit of flavoring agent in a hand-turned ice-cream maker and it was yuumm. Very different from the goo they sell today"

        I think we all already know that while it sounds great, back when you were young, you had to walk uphill both ways to the supermarket to get all the ingredients.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Lumpy (12016)
        WHY???

        The best ice cream ever made has always had Anti-freeze in it. this "discovery" is silly. MY Parents always made some fantastic anti freeze icecream and the best you can get at a 5 star resturant also has it in it.

        It's called alcohol. The recipe I have that makes an icecream that makes friends claim it's better than even the best you can buy has a few ounces of Amaretto in it.

        If you dont want to put a tiny bit of booze in your icecream, I think they need to get a life and quit being prudes. It's b
      • by rrkap (634128)
        Strictly speaking, the high fructose corn syrup is a substitute for sugar. The carogeenan, or guar gum along with the whey is a substitute for milkfat and a stabilizing agent. On the whole, I prefer a ice cream with fewer ingredients, but you do have to put up with a short shelf life compared to ones containing more exotic ingredients. Bryers used to be close to this, but even they add a gum to improve shelf life now.
      • by CodeMunch (95290) * on Saturday January 12, 2008 @10:16PM (#22020800) Homepage

        When I was younger, we made it at home from real milk, sugar and a bit of flavoring agent in a hand-turned ice-cream maker and it was yuumm. Very different from the goo they sell today

        Shall I get off your lawn? ;)

      • by jamesh (87723)
        As someone who can't have more than a small amount of cheese without feeling quite sick, i'm more than happy if they can find something to replace the milk with. The last time I had any quantity of milk was a small tub of yoghurt just after lunch, and I felt sick for the rest of the day, and bloated and yuck the next day.

        I've found a brand of soy milk that I can tolerate the taste of, and actually quite enjoy it on cereal, but it's not something I like on it's own... soy has a particular taste that i'll pro
    • by djmurdoch (306849)
      Thank you, Slashdot, for making me not able to eat Ice Cream today.

      Well, at least there's still Jello. Oops, look at the end of the article:

      "But using gelatin as a source has the advantage of being easy to supply because it is a by-product of the meat and leather industries," says Andrew Wilbey, an ice-cream expert at Reading University, UK.
    • by Tyger (126248)
      Actually they use it in fat free ice cream. Normally the butterfat in the cream serves the purpose of preventing ice crystal forming, so fat free ice cream traditionally doesn't have a very good mouth feel. This protein is used to replace the chemistry traditionally performed by the fat. It is also worth noting that the protein is synthesized in a lab, not extracted from insects/eels/whatever else that uses it, so it's not like you're eating a bug or something.

      The ice cream in question really isn't that
      • by russotto (537200)

        It is also worth noting that the protein is synthesized in a lab, not extracted from insects/eels/whatever else that uses it, so it's not like you're eating a bug or something.


        Yeah, but if they got it from the insect/eel/whatever, they could still call it "all natural", like locust bean gum, carrageenan, polysorbate 80, etc.

  • Inputdev? (Score:4, Funny)

    by SeanTobin (138474) <byrdhuntr@nOspam.hotmail.com> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:18PM (#22018306)
    Ok,

    Who is the joker that tagged this as inputdev? Am I going to get in trouble at work for searching /. for STDOUT now?
    • The "inputdev" tag comes up automatically when the spoon icon is attached to the story. My guess is that kdawson picked the spoon icon for this story because spoons go with icecream, not because it is a story about input devices.
  • Bullshit. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jez9999 (618189) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:18PM (#22018312) Homepage Journal
    I *love* those little ice particles in ice cream, they give it a great texture. Game over.
  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:19PM (#22018324) Homepage Journal
    with your headline, you pass science, but you flunk marketing
  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:19PM (#22018326) Journal
    I like the "gritty" feel of those larger ice crystals, especially in sherbet.

    Maybe I'm weird, but completely smooth ice cream almost tastes like it's melting... Not that it's bad, but I like the variety.
    • by fbjon (692006)
      Sherbet is not ice cream, though. And if cold and gritty is what you want, this [wikipedia.org] is your ticket.
    • by kinabrew (1053930)
      I know this isn't clever or informative, but I agree completely. I love when ice cream has ice crystals in it.
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:23PM (#22018348)
    Just genetically modify the cow to produce this protein in the milk and you have the perfect production process.
  • by E1v!$ (267945)
    I LIKE gritty ice cream!
  • !vegan tag (Score:5, Informative)

    by EVil Lawyer (947367) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:26PM (#22018382)
    Whoever tagged this "!vegan" should probably get a lesson in the difference between vegan and vegetarian.

    I assure you that almost no "ice cream" is actually vegan, because it has CREAM (i.e., from milk) in it. So the addition of this gelatin-extract does not change its status as vegan or non-vegan.

    However, !vegetarian would make sense, since gelatin is made from the animal itself, and ice cream does not generally contain any animal parts (as far as I know!).

    p.s. FWIW, I eat animals myself, but think gelatin (ground horse hooves) is kinda gross.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Rinikusu (28164)
      Sorta, not really. Vegan "ice cream" has come a long way over the past few years, from being disgusting "Well, it's sorta like the real thing" to some very passable stuff, usually made from Soy Milk. So, a vegan tagging the article would be quite right in doing so, even though I think a !vegetarian tag would also be more appropriate as you stated. The argument you present, however, is mostly semantics and really "counter-productive" to anything unless you're just bored.

      Leave the vegans alone. They get e
      • by xaxa (988988)
        Have you managed vodka jelly (if you're American, wiki tell me that's gelatin shots) using agar-agar yet? A friend of mine tried it a couple of times, once with vodka and once with absinthe, but it didn't set :-(

        PS: don't read the Production part of the wiki article [wikipedia.org] if you ever want to eat jelly again.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Isn't the ! a not operator? As in !vegan = NOT Vegan, thus !vegan != vegan.

        That's what I thought anyway. Otherwise, what the hell is the point of the exclamation mark in the beginning?
      • I disagree. The "!vegan" tag WAS indeed silly, because it should really go without saying that soy-based Vegan ice cream isn't going to be putting gelatin in, and vegans ALREADY couldn't eat normal ice cream, so they aren't affected at all by this development. A "!vegetarian" tag would make a lot more sense, because until now vegetarians could reasonably assume there are no animal products in ice cream. (Although I'm not sure that they'd be manufacturing these proteins out of animal-based gelatin in any cas
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DaveCBio (659840)
      I'm a level 5 vegan. I eat animal products so that other people can't.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rhizome (115711)
        I'm a level 5 vegan. I eat animal products so that other people can't.

        Level 5 poseur. [wordpress.com]
        • by DaveCBio (659840)
          There is a surprising lack of standardized levels in the vegan community. I think a committee should be struck to develop and implement standards.
        • by mrmeval (662166)
          I only eat sunshine....converted by other lifeforms.

          You are a life form.
    • by gozu (541069)
      Yeah, testicles, intestines, brain and tongue are fine*, but who in his right mind would eat ground horse hooves?

      The mind boggles

      *All delicacies. Intestines used to make good sausages.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Bartab (233395)
      Every animal I eat is a vegetarian.
    • Re:!vegan tag (Score:4, Interesting)

      by maxgraphic (737920) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @06:17PM (#22018906) Homepage

      Gelatin is not (commonly) made from horse hooves. [wikipedia.org]

      "... gelatin is made from by-products of the meat and leather industry, mainly pork skins, pork and cattle bones, or split cattle hides. ... Contrary to popular belief, horns and hooves are not commonly used."

    • Ice cream is full of animal parts--bacteria.
  • by Babu 'God' Hoover (1213422) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:28PM (#22018394)
    Now we can have ice cream that's been thawed and frozen after a meal of 'fresh' chicken that's been frozen and thawed.
  • Bah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:34PM (#22018448) Journal
    In my day, if we wanted smooth ice cream, we had to mix in ethylene glycol by hand with a leaden spoon! and we were grateful! You kids get off my lawn!

    -jcr

    • Re:Bah! (Score:4, Funny)

      by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @06:12PM (#22018852)
      In my day...we had to mix in ethylene glycol by hand with a leaden spoon... You kids get off my lawn!

      Well, that explains the dementia. Now put down the TV remote, and stop yelling at the microwave oven.

    • by jbengt (874751)
      You've got it all wrong, It's Propylene Glycol that's a common food additive, not ethylene glycol.
      • by jcr (53032)
        Hear that whoosing sound?

        It's a joke, son. Did you miss the lead spoon part, too?

        -jcr

        • by jbengt (874751)
          Yeah, I realized it's a joke, but the real joke just might be that they really do use glycol in food.
          And have you tested the amount of lead in the glazing on that china imported from China lately?
          (BTW, I don't know that I've ever eaten ice cream with a lead spoon, but I have eaten off of a pewter plate before)
  • Gelato (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcpkaaos (449561) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:36PM (#22018460)
    the growth of ice crystals that ruin its texture

    Or, you could just eat Gelato, and avoid this problem altogether.
  • Tomacco? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Gothmolly (148874)
    What's next flounder genes in tomatoes to keep them from freezing? Flouresence genes in pigs so they glow under black light? Oh, wait..
  • We don't need this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveCBio (659840) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:43PM (#22018536)
    Companies could just make ice cream properly and transport and store it well and not put so much chemical crap into it, but hey then it might cut into their 1500% profit margins.
    • by Ironsides (739422)
      And people could keep the icecream in their freezer all the time and never have it melt. Oh wait, that isn't possible. If it is that cold all the time, then you can't get the icecream out of the box.
      • by DaveCBio (659840)
        What are you talking about? You don't have to store ice cream at such a low temp that it becomes a rock. Of course it's going to melt a bit when you take it out, but when you start with a crap product it can only get worse.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bartab (233395)
      Most, nearly all, of the problems with re-freezing come due to the defrost cycles of automatic cycle residential freezers.
      • by russotto (537200)

        Most, nearly all, of the problems with re-freezing come due to the defrost cycles of automatic cycle residential freezers.


        Perhaps, but I'm willing to accept that if I don't eat the ice cream quickly it's going to turn icy. Particularly since dragging my freezer outside to defrost every few months would just suck. But when I get ice cream from the store that's icy already, it ain't my freezer's fault.

    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      You don't have to get it either: I like ice-cream a lot, but I only get it at an actual ice cream store. I've tried them all (excluding haagen-dasz, mövenpick and the likes) in my town, and there are about 1-2 that taste like they're good at making it themselves. Did you know that chocolate ice cream with chocolate in it actually tastes a lot like chocolate? Delicious. Furthermore you support your like tradesman instead of some multi-billionaire.

      Back in Holland, I used to go to "Australian" every now

      • by russotto (537200)

        Funny thing is, I have a scientific interest in these subjects, the chemistry and physics behind food is fascinating, but I would like to see this chemistry and physics used to make more "honest" food, with less additives, instead of more "cheap" food.

        That's close to a logical contradiction. Food chemistry can be used to make cheaper food, better food, or even better and cheaper food. But by definition just about anything which comes out of it will be an additive. True, they can also come up with techni

  • by nog_lorp (896553) * on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:52PM (#22018618)
    I've always just used car anti-freeze in my ice cream. It's an acquired taste, but it is really delicious!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Chinese are getting into the ice cream industry?
  • Does this mean I can use antifreeze ice cream for my car?
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @06:33PM (#22019076)
    Real ice cream is made from cream which is expensive. Real Ice Cream maintains it's texture because it's mostly milk fat with very little water. The point is to take milk and cheaper water based products and still get that higher quality texture. This is about saving a buck not producing a higher quality ice cream.
  • This is about maintaining quality in ice cream. As someone else pointed out, most of the heat shock (melting/refreezing) that occurs in ice cream is on your drive home and in your freezer at home. After freezing under agitation, only about half of the water content of the ice cream base is frozen, but the number of ice nuclei is the highest it will ever be. Under second stage quiescent freezing these crystals just get larger as the percentage of liquid water approaches zero. All temperature fluctuations a
  • Austrians have known the virtues of antifreeze [wikipedia.org] for quite some time.
  • Why not just use alcohol? A little rum to smooth out the ice cream, a little more to smooth it out a little bit more and a lot of rum to smooth you right out.
  • liquid nitrogen

    It may not be the best taste on the planet, but it is definitely the coolest way to make ice-cream ( well, maybe except helium ... har har har).
  • Why does this article have a "malware" tag?

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