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Talc Powder Reading Answers: IELTS Reading Practice Test

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Updated on Jul 02, 2024, 11:57

In the IELTS Reading section, your ability to comprehend complex texts is put to the test, and this is especially crucial when it comes to passages discussing intricate topics like talc powder. Lasting for 60 minutes, this segment consists of three passages, each followed by a series of questions designed to assess your understanding through various formats like multiple choice, matching headings, and True/False/Not Given.
 

To excel in this section, it's essential to employ effective reading strategies such as skimming for main ideas and scanning for specific details. Regular practice with sample questions and exposure to different question types will hone your skills, ensuring you're well-prepared for the test.
 

Get ready for an enlightening exploration of "Talc Powder," a deep dive into the composition, uses, and controversies surrounding talc powder. Dive into the chemical properties, historical context, and health implications associated with talc through engaging passages and accompanying questions. This exploration will enrich your understanding of talc powder, its applications, and the broader societal discourse surrounding its use.

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1. Talc Powder Reading Passage

You should spend approximately 20 minutes answering Questions 1 - 14 based on the Reading Passage below. This approach can help manage time effectively during a reading comprehension activity or exam. 

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2. Talc Powder Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Talc Powder

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1.

Talc Powder Reading Passage

General Information

  • Read Instructions: Understand each question before answering.
  • Manage Time: Spend about 20 minutes per passage.
  • Skim and Scan: Quickly get the main idea and find specific information.
  • Highlight Key Info: Underline essential words or phrases.
  • Answer All Questions: Attempt every question; no penalty for wrong answers.
  • Stay Focused: Avoid distractions and keep your attention on the task.
  • Check Spelling: Ensure correct spelling and grammar.
  • Transfer Answers Clearly: Write answers neatly on the answer sheet.
  • Don’t Dwell: Move on if stuck and return later.
  • Review: If time allows, review your answers.

 

 

 

 

 Talc Powder Reading Passage 


 

 

Paragraph A 

At a height of around 1700 m above sea level in the French Pyrenees, there is a vast deposit of hydrated magnesium silicate which is trimouns, in simple words it is talc. Talc which is extracted from trimouns and other 10 luzenac mines around the world is used to produce a huge variety of our daily products which are paper, paint, plaster, cosmetics, plastics, car tires, and, talc powder, which is used on the bottom part of newborn babies. Nevertheless, the true diversity of this amazing mineral is perfectly demonstrated as an excellent use in certain niche markets within the food and agriculture industry. 

 

Paragraph B

Take, for instance, the bubble gum business; each year  Talc de Luzenac France, which has owned and operates the Trimouns mine, a member of the international Luzenac Group (part of Rio Tinto minerals) supplies about 5443108 kilograms of talc to chewing gum manufacture in European countries. Laurent Fournier, a manager in Luzenac’s Specialties business unit in Toulouse, claimed that they had been selling to these industries since the 1960s. From the total yearly sales of talc, the percentage of products we sell to bubble gum companies is very small, yet we consider it as a niche clientele; one where clients are put into a group if they are willing to pay extra for enhanced quality of the product. Due to this, years of loyalty to a reliable supplier.  Fournier perceives that change in sources—such as choosing to purchase, say, paper clips from Supplier A as opposed to from Supplier B—is not an easy alternative for chewing gum manufacturers.Clients are naturally hesitant to convert from a talcum quality that performs, even though it is pricey because reconstructing the procedure is costly.

 

Paragraph C

It is a question of how talc is utilised to make chewing gum? According to Patrick Delord, an engineer with a background in agronomics (he has worked in Luzenac for over 2 decades ) Bubble gums are formed of 4 primary ingredients. He debates that the foundation of gum is the most crucial of all. The base of gum gives a chewy texture while the procedure of formation of a product gives a smooth and velvety finish. The makers later add sweeteners, flavourings, and softeners to this. The talc is utilized to fill the gum’s base. The percentage ranges from ten percent to thirty-five per cent. For instance, calcium carbonate, which is usually utilised as fillers; can be mixed with fruit-flavored bubble gum, which is slightly acidic. Being chemically inert, talc is an excellent filler. Delord claims that talc is a gum-based pellet that prevents chewing gum from sticking during the lamination and packaging process.

 

Paragraph D

The use of talc in the food factory is, nevertheless, not limited to chewing gum companies. Spanish olive oil producers have been enhancing the quantity of oil they recover from smashed olives for the past 20 years and now by harvesting the benefits of talc's special properties. According to Delord terms hard olives can be treated with talc. The olives are carried to the processing facility after being picked, ideally first thing every morning because picking them in the coolness of the day improves their flavor. Olives are crushed and then blended for about half an hour. Beforehand, the resultant puree is passed olive press but now, it is common to add water and whirl the mixture to separate both water and oil from the solids. The seed oil coating can be detached and bottled after the water and oil have settled. Difficult olives which were termed by Delord are those that are less inclined than usual to completely release their oil. As their moisture content is usually way too much or mildly at the beginning and end of the season, this might be caused by a specific type of olives, including the water content and the time of the year the olive is picked. Olives can be identified very easily as they produce a lot of extra foam when they are churned due to an excessive fine material that acts as a natural emulsifier. The oil in the mixture is lost along with the water when it is thrown. not just that, but if the sewage is thrown directly into neighboring fields, as is usually the case in so many small processing businesses, the churned oil can take some time to biodegrade and may therefore be harmful to nature.

 

Paragraph E

Delord believes that absorbing the natural surfactant peasant in olives and adding between 0.5 to two percent of talcum bypass during the production phase improves the amount of oil that can be recovered. Talc has a flattened, platy appearance, this contributes to higher yield by increasing the number of oil droplets released after mixing. However, since talc is inactive, it does not affect the finished products; the color, texture, composition, density, or flavor remains unchanged.

 

Paragraph F

Even though talcs are being utilized in the production of gum and olive oil is majorly known, Luzenac is always exploring new applications for the component in the food and farming companies. But one starting a brand new section is fruit crop security, which is being researched in the United states of America. Similar to how people can get sunburns, fruits can also have it.  Actually, around half of the typical crop can suffer from sunburn in areas with a huge amount of sunlight. On the contrary, in this scenario of fruits, it is the sun rays that harm the crops with UV radiation.

 

Paragraph G

To address the above-mentioned problems, the farmers frequently spray a constant fine mist directly on the crops. The trouble over here is created due to the huge amount of water, which in summers is costly. Moreover, the ground might easily become absorbed. In order to protect the fruits from the sun, Greg Hunter, a sales representative with Luzenac for about a decade, claims that our concept was to coat the fruits with talc. On the flip side, there are a few technical problems that need to be corrected first. Talc releases water as it is a water-repellent. Thus, in order to produce an item that could be sold, we required a lyophilic, which would not create any difficulty to wash off if the fruits are collected and this would release waxy and impermeable covering. Not a single person would love their fruits with talc powder sprinkled on them. 

 

Paragraph H

During the product’s early inspection in the state of Washington in 2003, it was discovered that when it was sprinkled over with granny smith’s apples, it significantly reduced their rate of heating and the risk of sunburn by more than half of the amount. The new product, Envelope Maximum SPF, is now in its second ad year on the US market. Hunter has a belief that grape growers is another section that has a long-term potential to grow, but the apple producers are the primary focus. He plans to grow his company in other regions, such as southern Europe, South America, and Australia

2.

Talc Powder Reading Question & Answers

Discover exciting and informative IELTS reading answers about Talc Powder

Questions and Answers 1-6
  • Use the information in the passage to match each use of talc powder with the correct application from A, B or C.
  • Write the appropriate letters A-C in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.
Note: you may use any letter more than once

 

 

A

Chewing Gum Manufacturer

B

Olive Oil Extraction

C

Fruit Crop Protection

 

 

 1. _____________ Talc is used to prevent foaming.

2. _______________ Talc is used to prevent stickiness.

3. _______________ Talc is used to boost production.

 4. _________________ Talc is used as a filler to provide a base.

5. ________________ Talc is used to prevent sunburn.

6. _________________ Talc is used to help increase the size of the product.

 

 

Talc Powder Reading Answers with Explanations (1-6)

 

Question Type:  Yes/No/Not Given

 

In this task, you are presented with a statement, and your task is to determine if it agrees with the information in the passage (Yes), contradicts the information in the passage (No), or if there is insufficient information in the passage to decide (not given).
 

How to best answer the question:

 

  • Read the statement carefully to ensure you understand exactly what it is saying. 
  • Pay attention to details such as dates, numbers, and specific information.
  • Scan the passage to find the section where the relevant information is likely to be located. 
  • Focus on finding evidence that either supports or contradicts the statement.
  • Yes: If the statement agrees with the information in the passage.
  • No: If the statement contradicts the information in the passage.
  • Not Given: If there is no information in the passage that confirms or contradicts the statement.

 

 

1. B. Olive Oil Extraction

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph D 

Spanish olive oil producers have been enhancing the quantity of oil they recover from smashed olives for the past 20 years and now by harvesting the benefits of talc's special properties.
 

Explanation

This sentence discusses the use of talc in the olive oil extraction process, making it relevant to the answer about olive oil extraction.


 

2. A. Chewing Gum Manufacturer

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph B

each year Talc de Luzenac France... supplies about 5443108 kilograms of talc to chewing gum manufacture in European countries.

 

Explanation

This sentence directly states the involvement of talc in chewing gum manufacturing, which is the correct context for the answer.


 

3. B. Olive Oil Extraction

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph E 

Delord believes that absorbing the natural surfactant peasant in olives and adding between 0.5 to two percent of talcum bypass during the production phase improves the amount of oil that can be recovered.
 

Explanation

This line highlights the technical details of how talc is used to enhance olive oil extraction, confirming it is the right answer.


 

4. A. Chewing Gum Manufacturer

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph

The talc is utilized to fill the gum’s base... talc is a gum-based pellet that prevents chewing gum from sticking during the lamination and packaging process.
 

Explanation

This sentence explains the specific use of talc in chewing gum manufacturing, providing a detailed context for the answer.


 

5. C. Fruit Crop Protection

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph G 

In order to protect the fruits from the sun... coat the fruits with talc.
 

Explanation

This line introduces the use of talc in protecting fruits from sunburn, fitting the context of fruit crop protection.


 

6. B. Olive Oil Extraction

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph D 

Difficult olives which were termed by Delord are those that are less inclined than usual to completely release their oil.
 

Explanation

This sentence elaborates on the challenges in olive oil extraction and how talc helps, making it the appropriate context for the answer.

Questions and Answers 7-12
  • Complete the following summary below using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
  • Write your answers in boxes 7-12 on your answer sheet.

 

 

The use of talc powder in the olive oil industry in Spain has been around for 7) ___________ years. It is extremely useful in dealing with “difficult” olives, which often produce a lot of 8) ____________ due to the high content of solid matter. The traditional method of oil extraction used in some smaller plants often produces 9) ________________, which contains emulsified oil, and if it is directly disposed of, it may be 10) ___________ to the environment because it can­not 11) ________________. But adding talc powder can absorb the emulsifier and increase the production because the size of oil 12) ______________ grows.


 

Talc Powder Reading Answers with Explanations (7-12)

 

Type of Question: Summary Completion

 

Summary completion questions provide a summary of part of the reading passage with several blanks. Your task is to fill in these blanks with appropriate words or phrases from the passage. The summary may cover a whole passage or a part of it, focusing on key points and main ideas.
 

How to best answer this question:

 

  • Quickly skim the passage to get an idea of its main ideas and structure.
  • Focus on keywords in the summary and look for them or their synonyms in the passage.
  • Carefully read the instructions to know the word limit and any specific guidelines.
  • Identify the part of the passage related to the summary. This often involves scanning for keywords or phrases.
  • Ensure the words you choose fit grammatically and contextually within the summary.
  • After filling in the blanks, review the summary to ensure it makes sense and adheres to the word limit.


 

7. 20

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph D 

Spanish olive oil producers have been enhancing the quantity of oil they recover from smashed olives for the past 20 years and now by harvesting the benefits of talc's special properties.
 

Explanation

This line mentions the duration of talc's use in olive oil extraction in Spain, making it relevant to the answer about the time period.


 

8. Extra form

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph D 

Olives can be identified very easily as they produce a lot of extra foam when they are churned due to an excessive fine material that acts as a natural emulsifier.

 

Explanation

This sentence describes the production of extra foam in difficult olives, explaining why "extra foam" is the correct answer.


 

9. wastewater

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph D 

The oil in the mixture is lost along with the water when it is thrown.
 

Explanation

This line indicates that the traditional method produces wastewater containing emulsified oil, making "wastewater" the right answer.


 

10. harmful

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph D 

if the sewage is thrown directly into neighboring fields... it may therefore be harmful to nature.
 

Explanation

This sentence points out the environmental harm of disposing wastewater directly, confirming "harmful" as the correct answer.


 

11. biodegrade

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph D

the churned oil can take some time to biodegrade and may therefore be harmful to nature.
 

Explanation
This line explains the difficulty of biodegradation, making "biodegrade" the right answer.


 

12. Droplets

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph E

this contributes to higher yield by increasing the number of oil droplets released after mixing.
 

Explanation

This sentence clarifies that adding talc increases the size of oil droplets, making "droplets" the correct answer.

Questions and Answers 13-14
  • Answer the questions below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
  • Write your answers in boxes 13-14 on your answer sheet.

 

 

13. What are the last two stages of the chewing gum manufacturing process?
14. Which group of farmers does Envelop intend to target next?

 

Talc Powder Reading Answers with Explanations (13-14)

 

Type of Question: Short Answer

 

Short answer questions in the IELTS Reading section require you to read a passage and answer questions using a limited number of words, typically no more than two or three. These questions test your ability to locate specific information within the text and understand detailed facts.
 

How to best answer this question:

 

  • Identify keywords in the question and scan the passage to locate the relevant section.
  • Once you find the keywords, read the surrounding sentences to grasp the context and find the precise answer.
  • Ensure your answers adhere to the word limit specified in the instructions.
  • Regular practice with past IELTS reading materials will improve your ability to quickly locate and identify relevant information.


 

13. packaging and lamination

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph C 

Delord claims that talc is a gum-based pellet that prevents chewing gum from sticking during the lamination and packaging process.
 

Explanation

This line explains that talc is used to prevent the gum from sticking during the lamination and packaging stages, indicating that these are the final two steps in the manufacturing process.


 

14. grape growers

 

Reference:

 

Paragraph H
Hunter has a belief that grape growers is another section that has a long-term potential to grow, but the apple producers are the primary focus.
 

Explanation

This line reveals that while the current primary focus is on apple producers, Hunter believes that grape growers represent the next significant market for Envelop's product, indicating they are the next group of farmers Envelop intends to target.

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FAQs

Q. How do I identify the correct paragraph for a specific answer in the passage?

Ans. To identify the correct paragraph for a specific answer, scan through each paragraph and look for keywords or phrases that match the context of the question. For example, if the question pertains to the use of talc in olive oil extraction, look for terms like "olive oil," "talc," "extraction," or related descriptions in the paragraphs. In the given passage, the answer regarding the use of talc in olive oil extraction is found in Paragraph D, which discusses how Spanish olive oil producers use talc to enhance oil recovery.

Q. What strategies can help in understanding why an answer is correct based on the referenced paragraph?

Ans. Understanding why an answer is correct involves comprehending the specific details and context provided in the referenced paragraph. For instance, if a paragraph describes the manufacturing process of chewing gum and mentions the use of talc during "packaging and lamination," it provides the necessary context to confirm that these are the final stages of the process. This ensures that the answer is accurate and relevant to the question.

Q. Why is it important to limit answers to a specific word count, such as three words or fewer?

Ans. Limiting answers to a specific word count, like three words or fewer, is crucial for accuracy and adherence to exam guidelines. It helps to provide concise and precise responses that directly address the question without unnecessary elaboration. For example, the answer "grape growers" directly identifies the next target group for Envelop, as specified in the passage, without additional details that might exceed the word limit and detract from the clarity of the response.