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Ice cream changes colors as you mouth it

A physicist-turned-professional-cook has invented ice cream that changes colors as you lick, says the news video. You also may wish to check out the August 1, 2014 Entrepreneur article, "This Insane Ice Cream Changes Color When You Lick It." But ice cream can't be legally insane. It's simply a color pattern that changes hues, an ice cream variety created by a Spanish physicist-turned-chef named Manuel Linares, reports The Mirror. Or see the Fox News article, "This ice cream changes color as you lick it."

Ice cream changes colors as you mouth it.
Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Linares took a course in ice-cream making. After all, it's a change from math equations. The course encouraged students to be creative and develop a new flavor. So the physicist invented an ice cream variety that changed color. You might also wish to check out news of ice cream designed on computers such as: "Ice cream sensations on the computer " and "Ice cream chemistry: The inside scoop on a classic summer treat (video)."

Since debuting "Xamaleon" – a reference to the camouflaging chameleon – business has been booming at his ice cream shop in Spain. Xamaleon changes color from periwinkle blue to bright magenta, and reportedly tastes like tutti-frutti, containing strawberries, cocoa, almonds, banana, pistachio, vanilla and caramel.

What's the secret that makes the color change as you lick the ice cream? According the article, Linares is experimenting to produce an ice cream variety that changes color when exposed to fluorescent or ultraviolet lights. So you don't have to mouth it to change the color.

Blame your brain for sabotaging your efforts to get back on track after splurging on an extra scoop of ice cream or that second burger during Friday night's football game

Findings from a new UT Southwestern Medical Center study suggest that fat from certain foods we eat makes its way to the brain. Once there, the fat molecules cause the brain to send messages to the body's cells, warning them to ignore the appetite-suppressing signals from leptin and insulin, hormones involved in weight regulation.

The researchers also found that one particular type of fat – palmitic acid – is particularly effective at instigating this mechanism.

"Normally, our body is primed to say when we've had enough, but that doesn't always happen when we're eating something good," said Dr. Deborah Clegg, according to a September 14, 2009 news release, "Ice cream may target the brain before your hips, UT Southwestern study suggests." Clegg is an assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and senior author of the rodent study appearing in the September 2009 issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

"What we've shown in this study is that someone's entire brain chemistry can change in a very short period of time. Our findings suggest that when you eat something high in fat, your brain gets 'hit' with the fatty acids, and you become resistant to insulin and leptin," Dr. Clegg said, according to the news release. "Since you're not being told by the brain to stop eating, you overeat."

Dr. Clegg said that in the animals, the effect lasts about three days, potentially explaining why many people who splurge on Friday or Saturday say they're hungrier than normal on Monday

Though scientists have known that eating a high-fat diet can cause insulin resistance, little has been known about the mechanism that triggers this resistance or whether specific types of fat are more likely to cause increased insulin resistance. Dr. Clegg said she suspected the brain might play a role because it incorporates some of the fat we eat – whether it is from healthy oils or the not-so-healthy saturated fat found in butter and beef – into its structure.

Based on this suspicion, her team attempted to isolate the effects of fat on the animals' brains. Researchers did this by exposing the animals to fat in different ways: by injecting various types of fat directly into the brain, infusing fat through the carotid artery or feeding the animals through a stomach tube three times a day. The animals received the same amount of calories and fat; only the type of fat differed. The types included palmitic acid, monounsaturated fatty acid and oleic acid.

Palmitic acid versus oleic acid: Know your edible oils

Palmitic acid is a common saturated fatty acid occurring in foods such as butter, cheese, milk and beef. Oleic acid, on the other hand, is one of the most common unsaturated fatty acids. Olive and grapeseed oils are rich in oleic acid.

"We found that the palmitic acid specifically reduced the ability of leptin and insulin to activate their intracellular signaling cascades," Dr. Clegg said. "The oleic fat did not do this. The action was very specific to palmitic acid, which is very high in foods that are rich in saturated-fat."

Dr. Clegg said, according to the news release, that even though the findings are in animals, they reinforce the common dietary recommendation that individuals limit their saturated fat intake. "It causes you to eat more," she said.

The other key finding, she said, is that this mechanism is triggered in the brain – long before there might be signs of obesity anywhere else in the body. The next step, Dr. Clegg said, is to determine how long it takes to reverse completely the effects of short-term exposure to high-fat food.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study included Dr. Carol Elias, assistant professor of internal medicine, and Drs. Boman Irani and William Holland, postdoctoral research fellows in internal medicine. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the University of Paris also contributed to the study. The study was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Beware of what your ice cream is wrapped in

Food packaging (in research that applies to the UK) containing latex should be labeled to avoid the possibility of sensitive individuals being exposed to potentially deadly levels of the allergen, experts told C&I. A recent UK study revealed that one third of food packaging tested was contaminated with latex. The latex was transferred to food in some cases. In one unnamed chocolate biscuit, the amount of latex found was 20 times the level that instigates a reaction.

A group of experts from the UK Latex Allergy Support Group (LASG) Advisory Panel said that these results were significant. 'For a few people, natural rubber latex is a very potent allergen and for these individuals, there is no safe level of exposure,' says LASG representative Graham Lowe. "We would welcome an approach to the EU to consider this evidence and the issue of labeling," he said, according to the August 6, 2006 news release, "Deadly latex evading lax food labeling laws." Lowe added that latex transfer to food could account for some currently inexplicable reactions. There is no agreement on a safe level of latex, but it has been reported that a billionth of a gram (1ng/ml) can be enough to cause a reaction.

Are manufacturers required to label food packaging as containing latex?

Scientists at Leatherhead Food International measured the presence of four major latex allergens in 21 types of food packaging for confectionary, fruit and vegetable produce, meat, pastry and dairy products. A third of the materials tested gave positive results for the presence of latex and in some cases this was transferred onto the food, according to research, "A preliminary investigation into the possible transfer of latex allergens from latex protein containing materials in contact with food," appearing online since August 7, 2006 in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

The highest levels of latex allergens were found in a chocolate biscuit containing nearly 20ng/ml. And the wrapper contained 85ng/ml of latex, according to the study. The highest levels in packaging was detected in ice cream wrappers, with over 370ng/ml found in one sample. The ice cream itself contained around 14ng/ml.

One company admitted spraying whole wrappers with latex adhesive, so that they could be sealed with minimum wastage, stated the news release

A spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency, which funded this study, said food-labeling guidelines were designed to avoid restriction of choice due to excess use of warning labels. 'Advisory labeling should only be used when, following a thorough risk assessment, there is a real risk of allergic reactions,' they said, according to the news release.

The Leatherhead study is the first attempt to quantify the latex allergens present in food contact materials and also in foods. Between 1-6% of the British population suffer from latex allergies. Latex is used in many food packaging materials, including rubber bands, meat netting, stickers found on some fruit and vegetables and the adhesive used for cold sealing of confectionary. For more information, you may wish to check out the website, Society of Chemical Industry.