Get answers to some of our most answered questions here. Simply click any of the headings below to expand the section.
Paraffin Ingredients …things you should know
- Many commercial candles are made from paraffin, the grayish-black sludge that oozes from the backside of the petroleum refineries. It’s bleached, textured with a carcinogenic product called acrolyn, chemically coloured and artificially scented.
- Health Canada is urging the Canadian candle industry to stop manufacturing and importing candles with lead and zinc core wicks. They are hazardous to human health – even in small amounts. Some candle makers use lead and zinc cores to make the wicks rigid.
Lighten Up …there is hope.
- The Kelowna Candle Factory’s all natural beeswax candles are hand-crafted from 100% Pure Canadian Beeswax, harvested from the lush wildflower fields bordering the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Alfalfa clover gives our beeswax a country goodness and sweet, rich honey fragrance. They’re all natural soy candles are hand-crafted from 100% Natural Canadian Soy. We use a natural cotton wick – no metallic cores.
Beeswax Ingredients …Mother Nature’s perfect fuel.
- Legend has it that bees were offered to the Earth by the Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, to teach humankind how to use and respect Nature. Beeswax is a remarkable natural substance that cannot be imitated. It is a by-product of honey, which originates in flowers and is made by the youngest honeybees in the colony. The flower nectar is placed in the honeycomb’s individual cells and when one cell is full, the bees place a wax cap over the honey for storage.
Beeswax Facts …Beeswax actually cleans the air!
- Beeswax candles produce negative ions that attract positive ions. But, positive ions aren’t so positive. They’re the pollutants such as dust, odours, toxins, pollen, mold, bacteria, and viruses that are floating in the air. Beeswax neutralizes the pollutants and the simply fall to the ground. The dustier your home, the more “black debris” you’ll find deposited in the wax around the wick.
- Burning a beeswax candle in the bedroom for a half hour before sleep helps produce a more restful sleep.
- Beeswax is a safe, valuable fuel – one of the purest known – and it burns slower and cleaner than paraffin, therefore it’s cheaper to use.
- Beeswax is virtually smokeless and dripless when used properly (see below).
- Beeswax burns with a golden halo and is significantly hotter than paraffin.
- Please Note: candles listing beeswax as an ingredient may contain as little as 30% beeswax. If it doesn’t state on the label “100% pure beeswax” it probably isn’t.
Beeswax/Soy Candle Etiquette & Safety tips…Let there BEE light!
- Quicker Lighting! Light your candles at an angle at the base of the wick.
- Trim the Wick! Keep the wick trimmed at 1/4 inch at the start and each time you burn it as it prevents wick from having a large uncontrollable flame which will result in dripping, smoking and will lessen burn time too!
- CENTRE WICK with a TWIST! : Every time you light the candle make sure the wick is centered you will notice candle wick may be curved to one side after it has been burned, this is natural as flames flicker and move but whatever side the wick is resting at that makes you aware that there is a slight draft on the other side making wick curve more to that side, to remedy it, next time you burn it than 180 the candle and have flame facing opposite direction and burn candle again and if everytime wick is curved to the example: right side than to remedy it, so you won’t end up with an uneven burn and dripping down the right side than every time you burn candle after trimming wick to 1/4″ than twist candle 180 degrees so it has a chance to burn evenly on both sides, if you don’t want to do this everytime than at least ensure that the wick is trimmed and straightened this way the flame is controlled and won’t cause the candle to drip!
- Longer Life! Push the sidewalls into the liquid wax pool to raise the level of the wax. Be careful not to over push – it will cause wax leakage and smoulder the wick. This prevents “hollowing” of the candle and prevents the incidents of a weaken of the walls of the candles which may cause a hole to open and wax to leak out of side of candle. Best to push in the walls after the wax has slightly cooled off.
- Dunk it! Instead of blowing out your beeswax candles, extinguish it by “dunking” the wick into the melted wax. Don’t forget to flip it back up! This way, you’ll have a smokeless wick that is easier to light the next time.
- Keep Burning! For 3″ diameter pillar candles or larger, burn for 2 hours the first time and at least every 3rd or 4th burn to establish a nice “melt pool” and ensure optimal burning time for the life of your candle. Your candle may develop a tendency to burn down the middle and not out to the sides if it is not burned long enough each time.
- Dodge the Draft! We suggest to not burn candles near windows, vents, fans, fireplaces and heaters. Air drafts may cause an uneven burn resulting in a slope on one side which could create excess dripping of wax, smoking of flame due to the wax leakage, and cracked glass if flame gets too close to holder.
- Uneven Surfaces! Uneven surfaces will cause the melted wax pool and flame to heat up one side more than the other causing for an uneven burn which will cause for a weakening of one side, which will make a slope and cause the dripping of wax down the candle.
- Hold it! Never place a burning candle (including T-lite with aluminum cup) directly on any surface without correct holder. Use an inflammable dish never place directly on wood or synthetic material. Votives and T-lites are designed to completely liquefy when burning. Remove metal clip once fully burned. With pillar candles placing a plate underneath that is slightly larger will catch any possible spillage due to draft, uneven balance, not pushing in sides after candle has cooled down, bumping candle or blowing out of candle. Suggest also not to leave a candle where it is close to an edge which if there is a incident will not accidentally spill onto furniture or floors.
- Properly Burn it! Votives and T-lites are designed to completely liquefy when burning. Make sure to choose appropriate heat-resistant holders for beeswax. Soy wax can use any type of holder, does not have to be heat-resistant as it has a low melting point temperature where as beeswax has a high melting point temperature. Trim the wick at the start at least 1/4″ to keep the wick from not mushrooming or producing smoke. You can put a teaspoon of water or sea salt at the bottom of the votive cup before placing the votive or t-lite in it. This makes for an easier removal of the wick tab and wax after the candle has burned down. You may also place the cup in the freezer for wax removal. Votives and T-lites have wick tabs to hold the wick up and centered. The tab also helps disperse the heat for a safe burn. Candle tapers need a secure holder. If the taper does not fit light the candle and drip some of the wax in the inside of the candle holder and immediately put the candle in the holder, holding it for a few moments so the hot wax solidifies with the bottom of the cooler wax on the candle to secure it. Pillars must be burned on a heat and flame resistant plate.
- Bloem free! Beeswax candles may be stored for long periods of time without deterioration because of the stability of the beeswax. However, over time some of the low melting point components in the wax may migrate to the surface and give the candle a frosty or antiqued appearance. This is called “bloem” and is easily removed by wiping the candle with a cloth or your warm hands.
- Enjoy it! The Kelowna Candle Factory’s 100% Pure Beeswax Candles and Natural Soy Candles, The Natural Choice!
Beeswax EAR CONE CANDLES Etiquette & Safety tips for extended version of safety tips https://kelownacandlefactory.com/product-category/ear-candles-therapy/…
- Ear Candling is best and safest if you have someone ASSISTING you.
- Lay on your SIDE ensure you are comfortable.
- Insert candles thru a paper plate OR place towels on side of head to PROTECT hair, face and ear if any ash falls or if any beeswax drips.
- INSERT the tip (bottom) comfortably in your ear (a slight angle as our ear canal is on a tilt) after have someone LIGHT the top of cone candle.
- You will hear the SOUND of a crackling flame when correctly inserted.
- Allow candle to BURN down apprx 6-8″ apprx 10-15 minutes.
- Always be aware that you have lit a flame and always have someone to be there to be there for you thru the whole process so there is no chance of a mishap or injury.
- Once complete, Very CAREFULLY remove candle from ear.
- DIP the burning end into a cup of water to extinguish it do not blow it out.
- Repeat on other ear with new cone candle.
Who should not have Ear Candling?
- People who have ear tubes
- Perforated/Artificial ear drums
- Ear tumor/cancer
- Ear Surgery
- Any serious medical problems must be addressed & referred to a medical doctor
Beeswax Cleaning Tips …Let there BEE clean up!
- Candle Holders: For excess beeswax in holders, let them sit in HOT water in the sink for at least 1/2 hour. Scoop holders out of the water with plastic gloves or utensil (not to burn hands). Wearing the gloves, using small spoon, scoop any excess warmed wax out and wipe out remainder with paper towel. Afterwards if you are wanting them good as new place in dishwasher for a rinse or wash in warm water in sink with dish soap.
- Rugs or Cloths: Use brown paper bag cut it out place over beeswax on rug or cloth and place your iron (turn to med heat) on the paper bag the heat will absorb the wax into the paper bag. If it is a tablecloth or clothing after you remove all excess wax than the oil from wax will remain therefore prior to placing in washer, place dish detergent in a bowl using an old tooth brush dip detergent on toothbrush and place on spots on the clothes or cloth than scrub in circular motion. Afterwards wash in highest temp that the garment will allow and dry as normal.
- Hard Surfaces: Wait until completely cooled and than peel off of table with small blade or may come off easily with your fingernails be careful not to push blade into table. Use hot wash cloth to wipe away residue.
Postive Experience! If at anytime you are not satisfied with The Kelowna Candle Factory’s products, please we want to hear from you as we do not want your last impression of our candles or our service not to be a good one! We will make it right, we appreciate all feedback and we will use your experience to make the changes to improve and we will send you a replacement or a gift candle in return for your feedback!
History of Candles
The history of candles is very long, archaeologists say the first candles appeared 5000 years ago (3000 BC) in Egypt and Crete. The first candles were made from animal (sheep and cattle) fat. The torch was another variant of candle used especially for lighting bigger places, torches were usually used outdoors because of the smoke they released. The first that introduced the wick in the history of candles were the Romans who used them in places of worship and for traveling at night.
What was the evolution in the history of candles during the ages?
The introduction of beeswax in the history of candles was in the Middle Ages, this wax was extremely expensive and only the rich could afford it, the new advantage that beeswax brought was that the candle burned very cleanly when compared to tallow candles. This new candles were preferred by the church that quickly adopted them and they are still used today. When the first colonials settled in America they found by accident that boiling grayish green berries resulted in a kind of wax that is similar to beeswax and doesn’t smell when it burns. This new opportunity didn’t have the effect everyone hoped for because the process was very long and expensive, so this just remains as a step in the history of candles.
In the 18th century the walling industry brought another solution for candle makers, the spermaceti was used to obtain a wax that didn’t release any unpleasant smell when burned. The history of candles was seriously changed in the 19th century when the first machine that produced candles automatically appeared, in 1850 paraffin was discovered, it is a product obtain from petroleum residues. Paraffin candles burned without any unpleasant smell and because of the fact they were also cheep, they eliminated all similar competition. The single problem with paraffin was the melting point that was harder to achieve, but using the stearic acid all the difficulties were easily passed over, so paraffin candles imposed on the market and occupied a leading position in the history of candles.
The end of candles?
Edison was the one who defeated their practical side and brought to an end the long history of candles; in 1879 he discovered the bulb and as a result candle making soon disappeared as a mass industry. At present candles are used as decorative objects or as part of the aromatherapy treatments, but their most important role remains in the Christian Churches where candles are present not as a light source but as a spiritual object.
What is Beeswax?
Honeybees are the only creatures that make their own home construction materials. When they need to create a place to raise their young or to store food, worker female bees make honeycomb.
Honeybees ingest honey to make beeswax. It takes approximately 7 kg of honey to produce 1 kg of wax. Once honey is ingested, the bees hang inside the colony for 24 hours while their bodies convert the honey into wax. The wax is secreted out of eight glands on the underside of the bee’s abdomen. When the wax leaves the bee’s body, it comes in contact with the air, which causes the wax to solidify into dinner-plate shaped flakes. The bees then grab these wax plates with their legs, bring them up to their mandibles, and chew them to soften the wax. Then they carefully mold the wax into the perfect honeycomb structure.
When beekeepers used to extract honey, they would use cheesecloth the press the honey out of the beeswax honeycomb. Left with all this extra wax, they would then use their uneventful winter months to create candles out of this versatile material.
History of Beeswax
The Romans demanded bees wax when they conquered the city of Trebizond in the first century AD. In Medieval European times wax was a a unit of trade for taxes or other. In 1330 farmers in one region of France paid 2 lbs of bees wax per year. On 1632 records show that the French Monastery called for rent of 600 lbs. of bees wax per year. Also in 1371 a petition was presented to the London Court of Alderman in behalf of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers, which established them as the world’s oldest English Guild. In 1483 the company received a Royal Charter with authority to oversee the craft of wax chandlery. And when faults were found to punish the offender, which included seizing the wax.
Candles of bees wax were at one time required by the Roman Catholic Church as the exclusive and only candles. The bees were brought to Puerto Rico by the church and the early priests and conquistadors. These same bees although dwarfed in comparison to the original bees are still habiting the island today. Today bee’s wax is sometimes used in Automobile waxes but normally it is most used in furniture wax and polishes. You can make your own wax very easily, my ancestors did on the plantation on Cape Cod. First you need a couple of pots to boil in and a pot of hot water. Liquid Beeswax furniture polish is simple, use one quarter cup of ivory soap, one quarter pound of beeswax, 1 cup of turpentine and half a cup of water. Dissolve the soap in hot water, put the shaved wax into the turpentine and then slowly melt together, then pour the soap mixture into the mix and stir with a wooden spoon, once well stirred pour it into a glass jar and you have it, very easy. Bees wax cream furniture polish which can also be used on cars with lessened amount of turpentine is made by using and mixing quarter lb of beeswax, 2 cups of turpentine, quarter cup of liquid Ivory soap, 1 cup of warm to boiling water and quarter cup of pine oil. The only difference it you have to make sure all the beeswax is dissolved first and cool then mix it into the warm soapy water until it congeals and then reheat together and dissolve. If you reduce the turpentine content you can use it on your car too. It goes on smooth and it works good. Although, I am partial to Carnauba wax for cars for it’s ease of use, but from a realistic standpoint of protection the carnauba only lasts three months while the beeswax melt might last slightly longer.
For solid beeswax furniture polish, which is preferred by the antique dealers we met on the back roads of NH, VT and Maine, all you do is use equal amounts of linseed oil, beeswax and turpentine. The finished product is golden brown and see through and looks rich in content. Now you have smelled lemon oil in furniture polish, which can easily be added to the boiling water during the process. There are many good waxes to use on cars that you would not put on surf boards, furniture or statues. Wax is found in the human ear also. There are two different types and your genetics dictate which one you have. Most plants have a thin protective coating of wax also. Most fruit and citrus trees and vegetables plants have wax on the fruit, leaves and vegetables they produce that we eat. Waxes are also produced by animals and also some fish. Other wax components are found in minerals and petroleum products and distillates. There are Polymer or synthetic, manufactured by man into various types of waxes. We get waxes from a variety of sources really.
The Carnauba we discussed is a preferred wax by many detailers. Carnauba wax is on the leaves of the carnauba palm trees. The best Carnauba wax comes from in my opinion the Palm Trees of Brazil. You can tell a good carnauba wax by the water beads up as you see when you detail your car. Candelilla wax comes from a plant that grows in parts of Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala and sometimes in the southwestern United States. It is a brown wax and not only have people used it on cars it is used in phonograph records, floor dressings, and candles. Although it is the major component of candle wax, it is mixed in with other waxes normally in the candles we use in our homes.
Polymer wax includes the very popular Teflon, yes a polymer brand Name used by Dupont. Polymer wax is a chain of compounds made of petroleum sources and now a days from Corn products. Polymers, which are strung together are generally applied in specific thicknesses to clear coats on cars and depending on the mixture can be quite incredible indeed. So good in fact that they are often called sealants and some last as long as a year when applied in the right mixtures and thicknesses. The word Polymer is a very vague in this regard since polymers are used to make plastics, coatings and many other products.
Generally short chains of ethlenic polymers are the type that are used by professional automotive detailers and auto detailers a like. Many in the aviation industry use it when doing specialized aircraft cleaning. We estimate that 80% of all automotive detailing and aviation aircraft cleaning commercial wax is petroleum based wax. Petroleum wax is chemically inactive in a sense and probably why it is so widely preferred. It is also cheaper to make than to harvest and has tons of uses. You cannot smell it unless cleaners are added which is often the case, but still it will not react to cause odor.
Bayberry wax, which comes from the berries the shrub with that name is also used in candle making. How is this produced? From bees, the same wax in making hives. Bee’s wax, is used for many things which are common to man; things such as candles, polishes, cosmetics (mostly make-up) crayons, flowers (artificial kind). Bee’s Wax is another wax that yes you can use it on your car and it is hard to spread and it will give off a great shine. The problem is gathers dust too quick, but it does look cool.
Wool wax from animals is also common to man. Lanolin, it is called, after purification is used in soaps in the industry, and also cosmetics as well as certain ointments for first aid. Petroleum wax can also be made hard and then we get a new type of wax. Paraffin; used in paper products (cups, paper plates), graffiti, and petroleum jelly. All Synthetic waxes are compounds of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and/or chlorine. Chemists will forever be trying to make the perfect wax for cars, boats, Aircraft to protect us from the harsh climates on the surface of this little blue planet.
And these chemists are driven by desire and need and the possibilities are endless as new compounds are adding to existing ones to bring up whole new blending ideas, some will revolutionize our industry but most will simply be duds. Some will be hyped even though they do not really solve a problem or fix a need. Never the less, the race goes on to find the best and we should be thinking about what is in that product before we put it on a customers car, boat, aircraft or prize possession. This is what the professional detailer does, this is why we are experts in car care and call ourselves auto detailers, rejuvenation specialists and professional auto detailers.
Daily we burn our beautiful beeswax candles throughout the office and in our home sweet home. This is one of the great perks of owning a beeswax candle company! Whenever we test a new wick or shape we take the time to confirm that we are happy with the burn of each candle. If you are not happy with the burn of your Avalon Sunset Candles please do not dismiss it, please let us know and we will do our best to improve that candle and your enjoyment of the candle!
Whatever you as the consumer would like to see, we listen. Please contact us with any suggestions or requests that we can improve our product or service for you the consumer. Thank you for taking the time to contact us!
The burn times listed for Avalon Sunset Candles is start to finish time. This means it is timed in one complete period. When a beeswax candle is extinguished and relit several times, the length of burn will be significantly longer.
If a burn time listed seems exaggerated, then you must look at the quality of the burn. A very low insignificant flame will result in a long burn.
Why pay more for quality?
The Kelowna Candle Factory’s 100% Pure Beeswax hand-crafted candles are not machine made and are without any finishing glosses. They are a true hand-crafted 100% pure beeswax candle each one uniquely made for a specific individual. It has a fresh strong beeswax honey scent and to the touch have a smooth finish, place your hand around the candle for a few moments and you will notice the candles may “stick” to you. This is due to the heat from your hand resulting in drawing up the honey to the surface of the candle. If it has been sitting in colder temperature or for a longer period bloem will result this is honey and beeswax natural way of settling or aging (like a good wine), honey migrates to the surface producing a protective layer around our candles.
GREAT reasons to BURN The Kelowna Candle Factory’s 100% Pure Beeswax Candles:
REBUILD: Purifies the air in your home.
DETOX: Neutralizes toxins in the air
REJUVINATE: More restful sleep when burning beeswax candles in your bedroom prior to falling asleep.
HEALING: Light a beeswax candles and let the day the week the month’s stresses and challenges melt away. A solitary candle flame can transform an ordinary dinner into a special occasion and an evening bath into a relaxing ritual.
Pure beeswax candles actually exert amazing healing effects on the respiratory system.
Just by lighting a beeswax candle, people suffering from asthma, allergies and sinus problems have reported significant improvements in their symptoms. Their breathing became much easier and their sleep less disturbed after burning pure beeswax candles in their bedrooms for a few hours before bedtime. Some asthmatics claim that their symptoms vanished completely after burning beeswax candles all day long several days or weeks..
The Brilliant Beeswax Candle: Natural Air Purifiers and More
by Annie Berthold-Bond,Producer, Green Living
Beeswax candles offer a honey scent, a golden flame, and the longest, cleanest burn of any candle.
But there is much more benefit to beeswax candles compared to paraffin candles that are made from polluted petroleum sludge, or even vegetable-based candles that are a big improvement over paraffin: When beeswax candles burn, they clean the air like a great, natural, air purifier, and they are a link to a deep spiritual belief system.
For each pound of beeswax provided by a honey bee, the bee visits 33 million flowers. It eats 10 pounds of honey. It secretes the beeswax from its abdomen, and then uses the wax to construct a honeycomb. Beekeepers recover the wax from the comb by heating it in water where the melted wax rises to the surface and can be removed.
Many have written about the wisdom of the beehive, and how burning beeswax puts a person in a special mood of reverence. It is easy to imagine why, given that millions of flowers have been visited and pollinated to make any one beeswax candle!
Healing and spiritual powers have been attributed to all products of the beehive. Honey has always been considered holy, a gift from God, and endowed with esoteric and mystical qualities. The Path of Pollen, or bee shamanism, is a calling into the secrets of healing, longevity, and spiritual powers of bee products, including honey, wax, and pollen. The Hebrew word for bee is dbure, meaning word, with the message being that the bee brings the Divine word. Specifically beeswax candles are designated for the Christian Roman Mass.
To burn a beeswax candle is to enter into the wisdom world of the bee, and you enter, too, into a world of benefits from the bee. Compare this to breathing toxic fumes from paraffin candles!
Cleaning the Air By Burning Beeswax Candles
Air contains billions of electrically charged particles called ions. Ions act upon our capacity to absorb and utilize oxygen, and therefore cause powerful effects on our lives and well being. The ions in the air can affect our mood, energy and health. Negative ions actually feel good. Too many positive ions make us feel bad and they are loaded down with pollution and allergens that are drawn to them and suspended in the air.. Negative ions, on the other hand, remove the pollution and allergens from positive ions, allowing them to drop harmlessly to the ground.
Beeswax candle fuel is the only fuel that actually produces negative ions, which not only helps remove pollution from the air but increases the ratio of negative ions to positive ions, the ideal and necessary scenario for clean air.
Annie B. Bond (aka Berthold-Bond)
Annie is the executive producer of Healthy Living channels. She brings over 20 years of experience as a leading authority, writer and editor about the connections between the environment, personal health and well-being. Annie has authored four books, including: Home Enlightenment (Rodale Press, 2005), Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Clean & Green (Ceres Press, 1990), and The Green Kitchen Handbook (with Mothers & Others; foreword by Meryl Streep) (HarperCollins, 1997), and wrote the chapter on cleaning in The Healthy School Handbook (NEA Professional Library, 1995). She was founder and editor-in-chief of Green Alternatives for Health and the Environment, the national consumer magazine designed to provide a community to the emerging environmental health field, and the founding editor of The Green Guide (a publication of Mothers & Others), an Utne Reader Alternative Press award recipient for general excellence in newsletters.
Indulging your home with an abundance of a candles…this creates a modern home diva status without breaking a nail, a sweat or your pocketbook.
The best way to make your home sparkle is with lighting this includes the wonderful glow of 100% pure beeswax candles! For Drama arrange 5-10 pillar candles, all in varying heights on the fireplace mantel or the kitchen island.
Sleep is essential to good health and beauty, and this time of year you may not be getting enough. Light a beeswax candle prior to bed and this will optimize your sleep and save energy and money by lowering the room temp before you crawl under the covers.
A solitary candle flame can transform an ordinary dinner into a special occasion and an evening bath into a relaxing ritual. We have a candle for every occasion!
T-lites and votives are perfect for the little nooks and crannies around your home. Put them on a staircase or along a window sill. Have brightly colored glass holders sitting in a votive tree.
Set the scene for a bath for two! Try placing them in a line along the vanity and watch the romantic sparks fly! Meal
Tapers or dinner candles are traditionally used to set an elegant table. Have them stand alone, in pairs with matching candlesticks or grouped in a collection of mismatched candlesticks made from antique brass, pewter, silver or glass.
Replacing electric light:
Chunky Pillars and tapers are an alternative to light bulbs in the living room, bedroom or kitchen. Style Options: Pillars are currently the most popular candles – group single-coloured pillars together at different heights on a dinner table, coffee table or tray.
Group candles in front of a mirror in a narrow space to give the illusion of depth…
I personally lite a candle in my office. It is a way to focus on what I loved to do. We recently strarted saying a new little saying after my boys blow out our candles in our home (inspired by Evan’s little friend Sonya)…..”Little candle burning bright, thank you for your little lite…1…2…3..(blow it out).
All Packaging is eco-friendly. All packaging is recyclable.
ORDERS received: You will receive your candles in a mastercase that has been recycled, inside will be recyled foam chips, shredded paper or crumpled newspaper this secures the candle boxes enclosed and will not cause damage during transportation. Our candles are in a strong quality recyclable cardboard printed boxes.
Pamphlets: 100% recycled paper.
Large Store Displayers: Beautiful birch wooden displays with cherry or clear non-toxic stain.