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Announcing Sacred Mounds, a novel of Magical Realism and Historical Fantasy from Jim Metzner, with a foreword by Hutke Fields, principal chief of the Natchez Nation.
Cyclonic hordes of insects, a telepathic despot, body-swapping sex - just a few of the surprises Salvador Samuels encounters when he is swept back to pre-colonial times, walking in the moccasins of a blind Indian - who, in turn, has been transported into Salvador's body in present-day America. Sacred Mounds Book Cover Four hundred years apart, they are bound by a mission to rescue our world, aided by the mysterious presence of the mounds. Thousands of these ancient earthworks once dotted the landscape of North America. We still don't know why they were created. Sacred Mounds suggests they are as important today as when they were made over a thousand years ago. Sacred Mounds weaves the stories of two men, each a stranger in a strange land. With the help of two remarkable women, they must find a way to save our planet and return home.
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Science Diary: Flavor - Layers of Flavor: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: Oct 29, 2008
Scientist: Joan Harvey

Science Diary: Flavor - Layers of Flavor

Science Diary: Flavor - Layers of Flavor
For flavor chemists, designing long-lasting chewing gum flavors is a high tech process.


music; ambience: atomizer

“One of the things in chewing gum is to have the flavor last longer than the consumer can stand to chew the gum.”

Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Joan Harvey is a flavor chemist who develops new flavors for chewing gum at a major candy company. Choosing the ingredients is one matter, but deciding how to deliver those flavors takes some scientific know-how.

“Ingredients that the developers select to use can drive how my flavor compounds either adhere to the gum base or release from the gum base. Liquid likes to be in the gum base. It’s slow to release. If I use just a liquid flavor, it doesn't release for the first two minutes, so I’m just chewing on and I’m getting sweetness, and that's all I get. If I spray dry it, the spray dry is very water soluble, so as soon as I put the gum in my mouth, it starts to release. That flavor will give me an initial high impact, but then I’ve got nothing left.”

To deliver consistent and long-lasting flavor, Joan Harvey uses a number of technologies to build layers of flavor. One of these technologies involves encapsulating liquid in powder.

[ambience: atomizer]

“We'll dissolve the liquid in a water and add an emulsifier and homogenize it. We actually will pump it through an atomizer, and this head spins very quickly, distributing tiny droplets. And I'll use an ingredient that will capture all of it inside the powder. So when I take it out at the end of the process, you can't smell it. It's completely encased in this carrier.”

If you know of a third- to sixth-grader who has an idea for a new kind of candy, have them check out our latest project at kidsciencechallenge.com.

Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation.