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Molecular Gastronomy Sodium Alginate


   SODIUM ALGINATE



Sodium alginate is the sodium salt of alginic acid and is a gum, extracted from the cell walls of brown algae. Its form, as a flavorless gum, is used by the foods industry to increase viscosity and as an emulsifier. It is also used in indigestion tablets and in the preparation of dental impressions.


As a food additive, sodium alginate is used especially in the production of gel-like foods. In recent years sodium alginate has been used in molecular gastronomy at some of the best restaurants in the world. Ferran Adria pioneered the technique and it has since been used by chefs such as Grant Achatz and Heston Blumenthal. Sodium alginate is combined with calcium lactate or similar compound to create spheres of liquid surrounded by a thin jelly membrane.

 

Spherification


Molecular Gastronomy Calcium Chloride


   CALCIUM CHLORIDE



Calcium chloride is a salt and the compound of calcium and chlorine. It is commonly used as an electrolyte and has an extremely salty taste, as found in sports drinks and other beverages such as Smartwater and Nestle bottled water. It can also be used as a preservative to maintain firmness in canned vegetables or in higher concentrations in pickles to give a salty taste while not increasing the food’s sodium content. It is even found in snack foods, including Cadbury Caramilk chocolate bars to retard freezing of the caramel in cold conditions.


It can be used to make a caviar substitute from vegetable or fruit juices or added to processed milk to restore the natural balance between calcium and protein for the purposes of making cheese such as brie and stilton.


Molecular Gastronomy Sodium Citrate


   SODIUM CITRATE



Sodium citrate is chiefly used as a food additive, usually for flavor or as a preservative. Sodium citrate is employed as a flavoring agent in certain varieties of club soda. It is also used as an acidity regulator. Sodium citrate is common as an ingredient in lemon-lime and citrus soft drinks such as Orange Crush Soda and Sprite, contributing to their tart tastes, and can also be found in such energy drinks such as Red Bull.

 

Reverse Spherification


Molecular Gastronomy Calcium Lactate Gluconate


   CALCIUM LACTATE GLUCONATE



Calcium Lactate Gluconate is also known as GLOCAL is a soluble salt of calcium, lactic acid and gluconic acid often used in effervescent calcium tablets. Calcium lactate gluconate is currently a premium salt in the rapidly growing functional and fortified food industry due to its excellent solubility and neutral taste. Calcium lactate gluconate can be used to help neutralize hydrofluoric acid poisoning.


Molecular Gastronomy Xanthan Gum


   XANTHAN GUM



Xanthan gum helps to prevent oil separation by stabilizing the emulsion, although it is not an emulsifier. In foods, xanthan gum is most often found in salad dressings and sauces. Xanthan gum also helps suspend solid particles, such as spices. Also used in frozen foods and beverages, xanthan gum helps create a pleasant texture in many ice creams, along with guar gum and locust bean gum. Xanthan gum is also used in gluten-free baking. Since the gluten found in wheat must be omitted, xanthan gum is used to give the dough or batter a "stickiness" that would otherwise be achieved with gluten. Xanthan gum also helps thicken commercial egg substitutes made from egg whites, to replace the fat and emulsifiers found in yolks. Xanthan gum does not change the color or flavor of foods or beverages.

 

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