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Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/16/2007 8:58 AM

Here's the thing, being a lazy bugger I try to avoid work wherever I can & this applies to the home as well. I have a grill pan with my cooker & to avoid having to scrape the burnt bits off after my 10th bacon sandwich I always line the pan with aluminium foil then I can throw the foil away & rinse the pan ready for the next time.

My problem is that, no matter how careful I am when lining the pan with foil (and I have now become obsessively careful) there is always a thick layer of fat between the foil & the pan, how does it get there?

When I line the grill pan I use a single piece of foil which covers the bottom of the pan, runs up the sides, folds over the top edge & is then scrunched under the rim to retain it. is there some mechanism which allows the bacon fat to pass through the foil.

As you can tell, this is really annoying me, can anyone suggest what is happening?

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#1

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/16/2007 9:05 AM

Yeh, I know what you mean...what you need is 1mm thick foil !

I always assumed that folding the foil causes small cracks....

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#2
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/16/2007 9:11 AM

That's a possibility but there seems to be a lot of fat getting through, the cracks would have to add up to a substantial area.

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#3
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/16/2007 9:42 AM

The cracks will have substantially more area than 'no cracks' ..

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#49
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

10/05/2015 8:01 AM

"Infinitely more area," quoth the Pedant...

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#4

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/16/2007 11:04 AM

Q1 Have you checked the foil for holes when take it out? Q2 Do you use a wire insert in the pan, feet resting on the foil? Check the foil where the feet of the wire insert rests and you may find what you are looking for, raise these areas above the general lake of pig fat that comes from the 10 bacon sandwiches. Good Luck.

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#5
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/16/2007 11:22 AM

davah, yes I do use a wire insert but it sits on 4 bosses formed in the pan so the feet of the tray are about 20mm above the base of the pan. I have been careful to mould the foil around these bosses to avoid tearing there (as I said in the original post this has now become an unhealthy obsession). It's not easy to check the foil after it comes out as it usually becomes stuck to the pan & tears as I remove it.

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#6

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/16/2007 11:25 AM

When following a recipe for baked beetroot the other day, I discovered that foil is also "transparent" to olive oil and basalmic vinegar.

I've tried the foil thing a couple of times, but always find the leakage - as Davah said, it's usually due to holes caused by the mesh feet.

Rather than using foil, try put 1/4" or so of water in the pan before cooking - the fat will float and is therefore easily removed and nothing will burn in the bottom of the pan.

I've used this technique ever since I left home (based on my mother's technique). In certain student houses, this resulted in the grill pan being cleaner when I left than when I arrived.

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#7
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/16/2007 11:29 AM

I'll give the water method a try, it might get over the problem.

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#41
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/11/2008 8:28 PM

Its also a good way to roast poultry (and other meats that are fairly thick)to keep the meat moist inside (and have the start of a great gravy too with what is caught in the water! Do not let it dry out though, replace lost water with fresh....).

A foil shield over the breast stops the breast getting burnt before the thicker meat is properly cooked. Just remove it 30 minutes before serving to brown the breast off and make it more attractive.....

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#50
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

10/05/2015 8:04 AM

This approach also works on the beach....

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#8

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/17/2007 1:24 AM

"My problem is that, no matter how careful I am when lining the pan with foil (and I have now become obsessively careful) there is always a thick layer of fat between the foil & the pan, how does it get there? "

The common aluminum foil you buy in supermarkets is not really that solid. If you look at the surface with a magnifying glass or with a microscope, you will find that there are very tiny holes in many places. This is an inherent property of aluminum sheets, there is a certain degree of porosity. Hot oil in the frying pan will certainly pass through these holes.

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#44
In reply to #8

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

08/15/2011 11:06 PM

Well I've just been examining my economy aluminum foil under my admittedly modest 40x microscope but I see no holes. I haven't covered a huge areas (much as I'm curious I do have other things to do today!) but I haven't seen anything even slightly resembling a hole yet, what sort of size are they typically?

Apologies if this is an old thread but I have wondered for years about this phenomenon and tonight I have finally decided I must have some answers!

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#45
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

08/16/2011 5:18 AM

Welcome to CR4.

If you wrap a chicken in foil before roasting: it never leaks the fat out into the roasting dish, so, why does this phenomenon occur with with bacon on a grill pan. Definitely requires more investigation, and, I love bacon sandwiches.

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#46
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

08/17/2011 8:38 AM

rOg, I didn't look for holes but I found that a new sheet of foil will hold water but if you crumple the sheet it starts to leak.

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#47
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

08/17/2011 9:34 AM

Ahh, OK, that makes sense, it's probably leaking round the edges where it get's krinkled up rather than becoming uniformly porous.

Indeed I've just compared some virginal foil and some lightly krinkled foil by holding each in front of a bright light and lo the krinkled foil has a couple of pinprick size holes in it.

Mystery solved, thanks v.much! :)

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#9

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/17/2007 3:13 AM

Hi Nigh,

You don't need microscope. Pour some water in the Aluminum lined pan, heat it up before frying your stuff and find out if there is any holes to let the water penetrate under the foil. If so, use next thicker foil and enjoy your sandwich without having to rub the pan later. Good Luck

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#10

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/17/2007 7:13 AM

Get a high quality plastic scrubber and some dishsoap!! Geeze!!

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: dish soap?

07/17/2007 8:03 AM

better to get a good cast iron skillet and then let the bacon grease season the iron well. NEVER use soap on the skillet. after the iron has soaked up enough of the grease and provided you don't burn anything to a crisp all you have to do to clean up is pour out the fat and then wipe up with a towel.

Oh, on a tangent, I put bird seed into a container (empty OJ concentrate or margarita mix containers are great) and then pour the hot fat over the seed and let it soak in. The birds love the resulting suit cylinders. If you have squrrel problems throw in a little hot pepper and the buggers won't be back....

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: dish soap?

07/17/2007 8:28 AM

I would rather have the squirrels than the stinkin birds. Squirrels are delicious...

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#13
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Re: dish soap?

07/17/2007 8:34 AM

I don't have squirrel problems, just badgers & foxes.

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#16
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Re: dish soap?

07/17/2007 8:47 AM

Badgers..I'd love to see 'em!

when we moved into this house it was all overgrown there were foxes with cubs...brilliant!

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#17
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Re: dish soap?

07/17/2007 8:57 AM

I've seen a fox with 3 cubs near the house recently & I regularly see badgers around the street, they get into fights and roll around in the road screaming like babies. The area where I live is near the edge of town so we're bordering on the countryside but I think that the proliferation of wildlife is because, at the end of the gardens of the houses opposite is a disused railway cutting which has overgrown & forms a little nature reserve.

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#22
In reply to #11

Re: dish soap?

07/17/2007 2:55 PM

Now THAT is a useful and informative post! Thanks! If one had the room in a freezer, one could accumulate a number of cylinders, plastic wrapped, for winter also.

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#42
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Re: dish soap?

07/11/2008 8:31 PM

I have read somewhere a long time ago that fat during the winter is really good for the adult birds, but bad in the spring for the chicks at nesting time.....maybe someone else could comment and confirm or deny that please....?

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#37
In reply to #11

Re: dish soap?

07/19/2007 12:27 PM

If you use bacon fat, isn't the "suet" very salty? Is that OK for birds?

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#14

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/17/2007 8:41 AM

I let my grill pan get so full that one say it went on fire. I took it out to the garden and left it burning till all the fat was gone. True most of my eyebrows were also gone but they grow back. The pan itself was remarkably easy to clean after it had burned for some time.

Remember to only do this under strict scientific conditions or when you are pissed like I was.

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#15
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/17/2007 8:41 AM

That should be "one day" not "one say"

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#18

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/17/2007 9:11 AM

Rose, Poached bacon? Sounds like an English dish

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#51
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

10/05/2015 8:08 AM

You don't put the bacon in the water, you ninny. The bacon's on the wire mesh thing. Still gets lovely and crispy....

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#19

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/17/2007 9:18 AM

There are two or three answers to this. A1 Give up the bacon, A2 Get used to the health warning stuff-dry cured, lean (zero fat) and use a well known fighters griller etc, A3 Lose it completely and go vegitarian. As an off-the-radar you could always try vegitarian bacon.

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#20
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/17/2007 9:27 AM

I don't like the sound of any of those. I can buy bacon straight from the farm, much better than the processed stuff. The grill is relatively healthy, at least I know that all the fat ends up in the bottom of the pan, I might even now know how it gets there.

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#21
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/17/2007 12:39 PM

On aluminum foil, there is a shiny side and dull side. What side do you have up? Oh, doesn't matter, probably holes on both sides..chuckle!

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#39
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/19/2007 5:25 PM

I like using Microwave bacon easy to use and no cleanup. Except for the plate I have to throw in the dishwasher.

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#23

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/17/2007 8:20 PM

As we get older, we get more health conscious. I don't recommend cooking in aluminum at all. It has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease. Cast iron, on the other hand is not a problem. The iron can be absorbed by the body, and is good for you. I think stainless steel is OK too. I also don't eat bacon any more. Eggs are a safer type of protein, as are beans. The fat is the problem. Cook your eggs in a good oil, first choice is olive, then canola. Never use lard, and shortening isn't good either. If you must eat bacon, try turkey bacon.

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#24
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/18/2007 2:59 AM

What do you do with all the grilled bacon then? Do you give it to your cat?

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#25
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/18/2007 4:26 AM

I know it's all bad for you but it tastes so good..........

I don't cook in aluminium, I use use stainless because it's easier to clean (which gets back to the crux of my original post).

I've never seen turkey bacon in the shops over here, I didn't even know it existed & what's canola?

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#29
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/18/2007 11:35 PM

If you line your pan with aluminum, you're cooking in it. Canola oil is very low in saturated fat (the kind that builds up in your arteries, and eventually causes a heart attack). It's lower cost than olive oil, and found in every grocery store in the U.S. with all the other cooking oils.

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#30
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/19/2007 4:32 AM

I'm not placing the food in the aluminium it sits on a grill about 20mm above the foil. Do you know what canola is made from? at the moment I usually cook with sunflower oil which is low in saturates.----------Hang on, scratch that question, I just remembered I have Mr Google at hand, canola is rapeseed oil. It is available in the shops here but I have never tried using it, perhaps I'll give it a go.

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#32
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/19/2007 11:28 AM

It's ok - I've been using it for a couple of months now (although the roast potatoes aren't quite as crispy...)

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#33
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/19/2007 11:36 AM

Do you bruise the surface of the potatoes before you roast them, it crisps them much better?

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#34
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/19/2007 11:42 AM

Just scrub them usually...I do use salt on the port crackling though...

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#35
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/19/2007 11:51 AM

With roast potatoes I always parboil them until they just start to go soft then drain them & give the pan a good shake to break up the surfaces. When you roast them for about 40min you get a crisp outside & soft inside. My mouth is really watering as I'm typing this, I'm going to have to go home & start cooking.

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#38
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/19/2007 12:31 PM

I use olive oil to roast potatoes, how does canola compare?

As a side note, I first heat the olive oil with rosemary and garlic, then let it steep (covered) for at least 30 minutes, then strain it. A bit of bother, but the potatoes are just heavenly!

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#40
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/20/2007 4:07 AM

I'll have to try that, I sometimes sprinkle herbs & garlic on the potatoes as they cook to give that extra dimension to the flavour.

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#52
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

10/05/2015 8:12 AM

Sounds lovely, but you still can't beat goose-fat for roasting potatoes. I was amazed at the difference.

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#43
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/11/2008 8:35 PM

In Germany we use Oils rich in Polyunsaturated fats and Omega 3 oils. Thistle oil is good too as of course is good olive oil and Rapeseed oil......

I find for some cooking that the great taste of olive oil is too strong for the cooking itself.....

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#36
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/19/2007 12:24 PM

StandardsGuy -

The suggested aluminum-Alzheimers link has been largely discredited. I checked with a number of reliable sources, including http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ where I found this quote: "As evidence for other causes continues to grow, a possible link with aluminium seems increasingly unlikely."

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#26

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/18/2007 7:16 AM

Despite all the shortages, last night an opportunity arose for an experiment with a smuggled fillet fillet of salmon, grilled fresh for 10 minutes each side while placed upon an aluminium foil drip tray (for want of a better term), just kissed with a little butter from the weekly ration. While very little of the salmon juices made their way into the griddle pan beneath, one has to be careful about turning the fillet over so that the fillet occupies the same position in the stable-2 position compared to the stable-1. If one doesn't then there is smoke; opening the windows to let it out attracts all the cats for miles around and also risks the unwanted attentions of Herr Flick.

Perhaps René could put the dish on the menu when the supply situation improves.

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#27
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/18/2007 8:04 AM

..Salmon...did I smell salmon...?

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#28
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Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/18/2007 8:29 AM

See what I mean? Just don't tell Herr Flick, otherwise we're all in the proverbial frying pan.

BTW: Stable-1 is NASAspeak for 'the right way up' and stable-2 means 'upside down' in relation to Apollo capsules.

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Guru
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#31

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

07/19/2007 7:38 AM

being a lazy bugger .

If necessity is the Mother of invention...maybe Laziness is the Father?

Discus.

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#53
In reply to #31

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

10/05/2015 8:15 AM

One of the few Olympic events to date back to the original Greek Olympics. Must be related to plate throwing, eh?

What? But you said discus....you did!

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

10/05/2015 8:18 AM

People are looking at me strangely in the office because I'm laughing.

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Guru
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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

10/06/2015 8:01 AM

Oivey! It's only now that you notice them looking?!

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#48

Re: Aluminum Foil, Fat and the Pan

09/17/2015 5:47 PM

Try parchment paper. Completely line pan and have paper go over pan sides

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