Say it with flours


File this one under ‘silly’, but here it is for what it’s worth…

In the office today, Josh and I were discussing the weird and wonderful range of chemicals listed as ingredients on the back of a packet of crisps (UK)/chips (US) – roast Ox flavour as it turns out, but that’s another story, and I leave Josh to tell that one. Anyway, yes, we really get into cutting-edge stuff here in the Nature offices.

Well, on the way home on the train tonight, I thought I’d have a look at just what was in the mineral water I’d just paid far too much for. And there it was, a memory from my high school chemistry days – flouride – that not-so-well-known halide. Those of you who have just read that last sentence and are thinking, ‘huh, what on earth is he talking about?’ – shame on you, you would not have done well in my class…

Spelling fluorine with the ‘o’ and the ‘u’ transposed would send our teacher into fits of rage, well, maybe not, but she wasn’t happy about it. We would lose points in homework assignments or on tests should we make this mistake – needless to say, I was scared into spelling fluorine correctly and have done so for some time now.

So, pureblue water, get your act together, make my chemistry teacher proud and start labelling your bottles correctly. Now, can someone tell me what sodium diacetate is, but more importantly, does it taste like roast Ox..?

(PS: Issue 2 of Nature Nanotechnology is out now – there’s even some chemistry in it…)


Stuart Cantrill (Associate Editor, Nature Nanotechnology)

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