In Pictures: Custom Pies


Dessert with Oranges, Jelly and Chantilly Cream


Candied Orange

2 medium oranges, washed
2-1/4 cups superfine sugar
2-1/2 cups water

Orange and Star Anise Jelly

generous 1 cup fresh orange juice, strained
2 star anise
2-3 sheets of leaf gelatin (depending on size)

Chantilly Cream

1-1/4 cups whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1-2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar, to taste


  1. Put the oranges into the freezer for 20 minutes to firm them up slightly. Cut off the top and bottom of each one and slice the oranges as thinly as possible, the slices should be about 1/16 inch thick.
  2. Bring the kettle to a boil and have a bowl of iced water ready on the side. Put the orange slices into a large heatproof bowl, pour over enough boiling water to cover, and leave for a minute. Carefully pour off the hot water, then briefly refresh the orange slices in the iced water and remove. Repeat blanching and refreshing the orange slices twice. This will draw out the bitter edge from the orange skins. Drain well.
  3. Put the sugar and water into a heavy pan and stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat, bring to a boil, and let bubble for a few minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the blanched orange slices. Lay a crumpled piece of waxed paper on top and cook gently for 1 to 1-1/4 hours until the orange slices are translucent and tender. You may need to add a little water to the pan halfway- through cooking if the syrup becomes too thick.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely, then chill for about 10 minutes. (The candied orange slices keep well covered with the syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a month or longer.)
  5. To make the Orange and Star Anise Jelly, Gently heat the orange juice with the star anise in a pan to a bare simmer. Soak the gelatin in cold water to cover for a few minutes to soften. Drain the gelatin, squeeze out excess water, then add to the orange juice, off the heat, and stir to dissolve. Strain through a fine strainer into a rigid plastic container. Let cool, then chill until set.
  6. When ready to serve, for the Chantilly cream, lightly whip the cream with the vanilla seeds and confectioners’ sugar to taste. Slice the vanilla beans if using as a decoration. Place 2 orange slices on each serving plate, and sprinkle with a little orange powder if you like. Place a spoonful of orange and star anise jelly on one orange slice and a spoonful of Chantilly cream on the other. Top with the star anise and sliced vanilla beans, if using. Serve at once.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s Maze

In Pictures: Crepes of French Restaurant Grand Breton Cafe in Akihabara, Japan

The Restaurant

Toothpaste Alone Does Not Prevent Dental Erosion or Hypersensitivity

The rising prevalence of dental erosion and dentin hypersensitivity has led to the emergence of more and more toothpastes on the market that claim to treat these problems. While no such toothpaste existed 20 years ago, today, many brands with different attributes are being offered.

However, a study conducted at the University of Bern in Switzerland with the participation of a researcher supported by a scholarship from the São Paulo Research Foundation — FAPESP showed that none of the nine analyzed toothpastes was capable of mitigating enamel surface loss, a key factor in tooth erosion and dentin hypersensitivity.

“Research has shown that dentin must be exposed with open tubules in order for there to be hypersensitivity, and erosion is one of the causes of dentin exposure. This is why, in our study, we analyzed toothpastes that claim to be anti-erosive and/or desensitizing,” said Samira Helena João-Souza, a PhD scholar at the University of São Paulo’s School of Dentistry (FO-USP) in Brazil and first author of the article.

According to an article published in Scientific Reports, all of the tested toothpastes caused different amounts of enamel surface loss, and none of the toothpastes afforded protection against enamel erosion and abrasion.

The authors of the study stressed that these toothpastes perform a function but that they should be used as a complement, not as a treatment, strictly speaking. According to João-Souza, at least three factors are required: treatment prescribed by a dentist, use of an appropriate toothpaste, and a change in lifestyle, especially diet.

“Dental erosion is multifactorial. It has to do with brushing, and above all, with diet. Food and drink are increasingly acidic as a result of industrial processing,” she said.

The researcher highlights that dental erosion is a chronic loss of dental hard tissue caused by acid without bacterial involvement — unlike caries, which is bacteria-related. When it is associated with mechanical action, such as brushing, it results in erosive wear. In these situations, patients typically experience discomfort when they drink or eat something cold, hot or sweet.

“They come to the clinic with the complaint that they have caries, but actually, the problem is caused by dentin exposure due to improper brushing with [a] very abrasive toothpaste, for example, combined with frequent consumption of large amounts of acidic foods and beverages,” said Professor Ana Cecília Corrêa Aranha, João-Souza’s supervisor and a co-author of the article.

In our clinical work, we see patients with this problem in the cervical region between [the] gum and tooth. The enamel in this region is thinner and more susceptible to the problem,” she added.


The scientists tested eight anti-erosive and/or desensitizing toothpastes and one control toothpaste, all of which are available from pharmacies and drugstores in Brazil or Europe.

The research simulated the effect of brushing once a day with exposure to an acid solution for five consecutive days on tooth enamel. The study used human premolars donated for scientific research purposes, artificial saliva, and an automatic brushing machine.

“We used a microhardness test to calculate enamel loss due to brushing with the toothpastes tested. The chemical analysis consisted of measuring toothpaste pH and levels of tin, calcium, phosphate and fluoride,” João-Souza explained.

The physical analysis consisted of weighing the abrasive particles contained in the toothpastes, measuring their size, and testing wettability — the ease with which toothpaste mixed with artificial saliva could be spread on the tooth surface.

“During brushing with these toothpastes mixed with artificial saliva, we found that the properties of the toothpastes were different, so we decided to broaden the scope of the analysis to include chemical and physical factors. This [broadening] made the study more comprehensive,” João-Souza said.

Statistically similar

All of the analyzed toothpastes caused progressive tooth surface loss in the five-day period. “None of them was better than the others. Indication will depend on each case. The test showed that some [toothpastes] caused less surface loss than others, but they all resembled the control toothpaste [for] this criterion. Statistically, they were all similar, although numerically, there were differences,” Aranha said.

“We’re now working on other studies relating to dentin in order to think about possibilities, given that none of these toothpastes was found capable of preventing dental erosion or dentin hypersensitivity, which is a cause of concern.”

The researchers plan to begin a more specific in vivo study that will also include pain evaluations.

Source: Science Daily

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness May Heighten Alzheimer’s Risk

Steven Reinberg wrote . . . . . . . .

Older adults who are sleepy during the day might have harmful plaque building in their brain that is a sign of impending Alzheimer’s disease, researchers report.

A hallmark of Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of a protein in the brain called beta-amyloid. It’s believed that one benefit of sleep is to clear beta-amyloid, and poor sleep might allow it to build up, the authors of the new study pointed out.

“Elderly individuals with excessive daytime sleepiness may be more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease-related changes,” said corresponding author Prashanthi Vemuri, an associate professor of radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Vemuri noted that the new study is only observational and as such does not prove that poor sleep causes an increase in beta-amyloid.

The association, however, is so strong that a link between sleep and beta-amyloid probably exists, but exactly what that link may be isn’t clear, she added.

It’s also unclear how much poor sleep it takes to increase beta-amyloid accumulation, the researchers said.

Although beta-amyloid buildup is a sign of Alzheimer’s, it doesn’t doom one to the disease, and might only be a sign of other aging processes, Vemuri suggested.

“Sleep has been proposed to be important for clearance of brain amyloid,” she said. “This study affirms that disrupted sleep may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease via increased amyloid.”

Vemuri’s team studied nearly 300 people aged 70 and older who didn’t suffer from dementia. About 22 percent reported having excessive daytime sleepiness when the study began.

Study participants completed a survey about sleep and had at least two brain scans between 2009 and 2016.

The researchers compared the scans in search of changes in the brain. They found increased beta-amyloids in key brain areas in participants who reported being very sleepy during the day.

The study was published online in the journal JAMA Neurology.

The co-author of an accompanying journal editorial said consistent and untreated sleep disturbance appears to aid Alzheimer’s progression and it can happen early, before any symptoms are seen.

“These findings, however, further support the idea that sleep is critical for mental health, and that chronically disturbed sleep may facilitate the development of Alzheimer’s disease or accelerate its progression,” said Bryce Mander. He’s an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.

This is another reason you should talk to your doctor if you have sleep problems, because many are treatable, Mander said.

Researchers now need to study whether treating sleep disturbances reduces plaque buildup, he added.

“We know very little about how sleep treatments can impact Alzheimer’s disease risk and progression,” Mander said. “It is really important that we, as a society, fund and conduct the studies necessary to find out.”

Source: HealthDay

Today’s Comic