The World’s Fastest Pizza Oven Bakes a Pizza in 37.55 seconds

The Swedes have given us Bjorn Borg, IKEA and now the ability to cook a Neopolitan pizza in under a minute.

Normally, a Neopolitan pizza takes 90 seconds to cook at around 840°F. But Swedish industrial heating company Kanthal developed an experimental pizza oven that heats up to 1650°F.

“I always enjoy taking on a tough challenge, and since I know that heat plays such a crucial part in pizza making, I saw this experiment as a perfect match for us,” says Björn Holmstedt, Senior R&D Professional at Kanthal.

Björn used eight porcupine elements in the iron-chromium-aluminium Kanthal® AF alloy, four in the upper part and four in the lower part of the oven. The oven is based on the infrared heating principle, using electromagnetic radiation to heat up the pizza it hits.

“I didn’t care so much about what it looked like,” he says. “Basically, we put together a metal box and focused on developing a heating solution which could be efficient enough.”

After intense experimentation and adjustments, he finally had the perfect solution. His last version of the oven produced a great-tasting pizza in no more than 37.55 seconds!

Source: Kanthal

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken

Ingredients

450 g boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 2.5 cm cubes
1 egg white
2 tbsp each cornstarch and all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white or black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sodium-reduced chicken broth
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp dry sherry (optional)
1 tbsp sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 onion, cut in 2 cm cubes
1 each sweet red and green pepper, cut in 2 cm pieces
1 cup drained canned pineapple chunks

Method

  1. In a bowl, combine chicken, egg white, cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper. Marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches and reserving the marinade in the bowl, stir-fry chicken until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plate.
  3. Add broth, 1/3 cup water, ketchup, sherry (if using), soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and sugar to reserved cornstarch mixture. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. Drain all but 1 tbsp of the oil from wok. Stir-fry onion, and red and green peppers until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add chicken, pineapple and broth mixture to wok. Stir-fry until sauce is thickened and chicken is coated with sauce, 2 to 3 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Complete Chicken Cookbook

Video: History of Chicken Nuggets

How did the US government give rise to Chicken McNuggets? What’s in a McNugget anyway?

And will McDonald’s ever bring back Szechuan Sauce?

Watch video at You Tube (3:51 minutes) . . . . .

Killing Coronavirus with Handheld Ultraviolet Light Device May be Feasible

Walt Mills wrote . . . . . . . . .

A personal, handheld device emitting high-intensity ultraviolet light to disinfect areas by killing the novel coronavirus is now feasible, according to researchers at Penn State, the University of Minnesota and two Japanese universities.

There are two commonly employed methods to sanitize and disinfect areas from bacteria and viruses — chemicals or ultraviolet radiation exposure. The UV radiation is in the 200 to 300 nanometer range and known to destroy the virus, making the virus incapable of reproducing and infecting. Widespread adoption of this efficient UV approach is much in demand during the current pandemic, but it requires UV radiation sources that emit sufficiently high doses of UV light. While devices with these high doses currently exist, the UV radiation source is typically an expensive mercury-containing gas discharge lamp, which requires high power, has a relatively short lifetime, and is bulky.

The solution is to develop high-performance, UV light emitting diodes, which would be far more portable, long-lasting, energy efficient and environmentally benign. While these LEDs exist, applying a current to them for light emission is complicated by the fact that the electrode material also has to be transparent to UV light.

“You have to ensure a sufficient UV light dose to kill all the viruses,” said Roman Engel-Herbert, Penn State associate professor of materials science, physics and chemistry. “This means you need a high-performance UV LED emitting a high intensity of UV light, which is currently limited by the transparent electrode material being used.”

While finding transparent electrode materials operating in the visible spectrum for displays, smartphones and LED lighting is a long-standing problem, the challenge is even more difficult for ultraviolet light.

“There is currently no good solution for a UV-transparent electrode,” said Joseph Roth, doctoral candidate in Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State. “Right now, the current material solution commonly employed for visible light application is used despite it being too absorbing in the UV range. There is simply no good material choice for a UV-transparent conductor material that has been identified.”

Finding a new material with the right composition is key to advancing UV LED performance. The Penn State team, in collaboration with materials theorists from the University of Minnesota, recognized early on that the solution for the problem might be found in a recently discovered new class of transparent conductors. When theoretical predictions pointed to the material strontium niobate, the researchers reached out to their Japanese collaborators to obtain strontium niobate films and immediately tested their performance as UV transparent conductors. While these films held the promise of the theoretical predictions, the researchers needed a deposition method to integrate these films in a scalable way.

“We immediately tried to grow these films using the standard film-growth technique widely adopted in industry, called sputtering,” Roth said. “We were successful.”

This is a critical step towards technology maturation which makes it possible to integrate this new material into UV LEDs at low cost and high quantity. And both Engel-Herbert and Roth believe this is necessary during this crisis.

“While our first motivation in developing UV transparent conductors was to build an economic solution for water disinfection, we now realize that this breakthrough discovery potentially offers a solution to deactivate COVID-19 in aerosols that might be distributed in HVAC systems of buildings,” Roth explains. Other areas of application for virus disinfection are densely and frequently populated areas, such as theaters, sports arenas and public transportation vehicles such as buses, subways and airplanes.

Their findings appear online in the Nature Group publication Physics Communications.

Source: The Pennsylvania State University

New Effective Treatment for Inflammatory Diseases Found

New research conducted by the University of Liverpool and AKL Research and Development Ltd (AKLRD), published in Inflammopharmacology, highlights the potential benefits of a new drug treatment on the human body’s immune response in inflammation.

In a number of inflammatory conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and, more recently, COVID-19, major complications and extensive tissue damage can occur when the immune system becomes excessively and uncontrollably activated. Finding new ways to selectively control this over-activity could have major clinical benefits.

Neutrophils

To be healthy, we need an effective immune response, otherwise we would succumb to overwhelming infection, even by everyday bacteria. However, sometimes our immune system can become hyperactive and cause damage through inflammation, even in the absence of any infection. This can sometimes be extreme. Indeed, many rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are caused by inflammation. The quest has always been to find ways to selectively block the harmful effects of an overactive immune system, without paying the price of blocking our ability to fight infections.

Neutrophils are the most abundant immune cells in our blood. They are rapidly dispatched to sites of infection, where they fulfil their life-saving antimicrobial functions by destroying infectious organisms and producing signalling proteins called cytokines, that help co-ordinate the recruitment and activity of other immune system cells to the battle against the infection. There is much evidence from work in Liverpool to show that these cells are important players behind many rheumatic diseases

Cytokine storms and COVID-19

In some situations, if the levels of cytokines are too high, they can trigger an extreme inflammatory reaction called a cytokine storm. These storms cause overwhelming inflammation that leads to blocked or ruptured blood vessels. This can affect the entire circulatory system. Cytokine storms can cause immense damage, multiple organ failure, sepsis, and even death and, appear to play a major role in severe COVID-19 disease.

For many decades scientists and clinicians have understood the potential benefit of suppressing neutrophils, but any attempt to do this without weakening the immune response to infection has failed.

APPA

APPA is a novel drug under development by AKLRD for use in osteoarthritis, a major disabling problem world-wide that is caused by low grade inflammation. The first part of its formal clinical evaluation in Liverpool, led by rheumatologist Professor Robert Moots, has recently been successfully completed. Now, in partnership between Liverpool and AKLRD, the impact of the drug on neutrophils has been examined and published.

The study found that APPA clearly demonstrated anti-inflammatory potential but without weakening host defence to infection.

Robert Moots, Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Liverpool and Director for Research and Development at Aintree University Hospital, said: “We have shown that APPA has the potential to dampen down that bad inflammation that causes rheumatic diseases—but not impact on the crucial antimicrobial function of neutrophils. We have been waiting for too many years for such a selective drug.”

“Our results suggest a prime role for APPA in helping safely modify aggressive immune response, not only in the arthritis that I treat every day, but even, potentially, in COVID-19.”

Professor Steve Edwards, a neutrophil scientist on the project at University of Liverpool said: “Therapeutically targeting the harmful effects of neutrophils in inflammation, without interfering with their ability to fight off infections, has been a long-term goal of many scientists worldwide. At last, we may be able now to realise this goal.”

David Miles, CEO of AKLRD said: “These exciting results underpin the favourable clinical results observed in patients with Osteoarthritis, whilst also suggesting APPA has an important role to play in treating a broad range of conditions where inflammation is involved.”

Source: Medical Press


Today’s Comic