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Spherification

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I want to do passionfruit and blueberry spherifications as part of a valentine's plate. I played around with it yesterday; mixing calcium chloride with the water, the puree with sodium alginate and something else to cut the acidity (can't remember the name of it). I tried it 2 different times, but it never firmed up enough to pick up or hold. I was getting there, though.

I was following a recipe but I'm concerned about my scale. Is it super important that these chemical measurements are accurate to portions of a gram? Mine doesn't go under a gram.

Can anyone help me out with measurements for this process or perhaps some suggestions?
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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. - GM
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post #2 of 15
I can't comment on the correct proportions of the solution, but if your scale isn't that accurate simply increase the ratios (i.e. the size of your calcium chloride bath) so you don't need to rely on fractions of grams.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 15
There are numerous jewler type gram scales on e-bay to the 100th of a gram even, I bought one a while ago for about 7 dollars.

I would suggest leaving the drops in the CC solution longer, or increase the proportion of the CC.
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post #4 of 15
The ph of fruit purees can vary. Do you have a way to test the ph? If not, maybe try going up on the sodium citrate a bit (assuming that's what you used). I prefer using gluconate-lactate to the chloride. Much less bitter, and if you add it to the base and drop it an alginate bath it seems to handle acidity better than the other way around. I don't think that should be an issue if you're adding something to buffer it though, that's just my personal preference. Accuracy in measurement is probably pretty important but I would think if you're rounding up to even grams then the potential problem would be too thick a gel, not lack of gelling. Usually the process is to get the idea to work then see how low you can go on the chemicals and still get what you want so I can't see how too much alginate or chloride would make it not work at all. That's just my thoughts though, I'm no expert.
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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.
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post #5 of 15

If anyone is still interested in this. The size of your "explosions" matters. If you are going for larger ones, Go the route of reverse specification. A good rule of thumb is to use the Calcium chloride in your passion fruit, measuring 6 grams of chloride per every 1000g of your liquid. Secondly mix your sodium alginate with cool water, measuring 4g sodium alginate per every 1000g of water. When making an alginate bath remember to  blend it well, and warm it up a little so it can fully dissolve. If your bath is too thick, your alginate may be getting old, but never fear, just cut it with water in 100g increments, when you reach the right viscosity, make a note to remind yourself what mixture to make next batch.  You should also freeze your spheres in a circular mold so that they come out nice and round and you can just drop them into your warm bath of alginate. This will speed up your process and after about 30 seconds in the bath you should be ready to take them out. Working under a heat lamp will keep your alginate from getting to cold, if you don't have the heat lamps just prep two baths and use the second when the first begins to chill. Rinse the spheres by dunking them into 4 different baths of water with a slotted spoon after pulling them out of the alginate. Use plastic containers, the spheres tend to stick to metal and will ruin your final product. The last step is to remove excess moisture by placing them gently on a C-fold or paper towel for a few seconds, then plate them however you like.

post #6 of 15

I'm pretty new in the industry and I do not know about this spherification but I'm a little bothered by the way some use chemicals such as the ones on your posts, since I did major in chemical engineering before shifting in pastry. I was wondering whether you have read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) of the chemicals you use and their possible effects after being ingested? As I've read through the MSDS of those, I'm quite alarmed (or I've just over-reacted a little, freaked out quite frankly) by way you add chemicals and talk about reactions. Please enlighten me, on the matter of adding chemicals to food, and how do you assure yourselves and your consumers that it is safe for consumption... really, I freak out on the very thought of adding chemicals to food that I am not sure are safe for consumption, even those preservatives, etc and I also want to overcome my "fear" of adding chemicals to food. Thank you.

Information w/o testing and validation is just data.

Information comprehended w/o testing and validation is just opinion.

INFORMATION COMPREHENDED WITH TESTING AND VALIDATION IS KNOWLEDGE.

I don't just read/write recipes and try them out; I study, analyze, test, validate and revalidate them. :)

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Information w/o testing and validation is just data.

Information comprehended w/o testing and validation is just opinion.

INFORMATION COMPREHENDED WITH TESTING AND VALIDATION IS KNOWLEDGE.

I don't just read/write recipes and try them out; I study, analyze, test, validate and revalidate them. :)

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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vera Cresta View Post

I'm pretty new in the industry and I do not know about this spherification but I'm a little bothered by the way some use chemicals such as the ones on your posts, since I did major in chemical engineering before shifting in pastry. I was wondering whether you have read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) of the chemicals you use and their possible effects after being ingested? As I've read through the MSDS of those, I'm quite alarmed (or I've just over-reacted a little, freaked out quite frankly) by way you add chemicals and talk about reactions. Please enlighten me, on the matter of adding chemicals to food, and how do you assure yourselves and your consumers that it is safe for consumption... really, I freak out on the very thought of adding chemicals to food that I am not sure are safe for consumption, even those preservatives, etc and I also want to overcome my "fear" of adding chemicals to food. Thank you.

All of these additives have been exhaustively tested and are already in use in the food industry, modern chefs simply are finding new ways to use them.   Many of them, such as sodium alginate, are natural plant extracts (alginate is from seaweed).   They are not in wide use, so they havent gotten user friendly names, but if we still called baking soda "sodium bicarbonate" would you then be afraid to use it?

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vera Cresta View Post

 I freak out on the very thought of adding chemicals to food that I am not sure are safe for consumption, even those preservatives, etc and I also want to overcome my "fear" of adding chemicals to food. Thank you.

 

It's all about the terms and packaging names.   When you start with modern cuisine you want to be absolutely sure that you are using the same thing as the recipe calls for.   Thus you use the chemical name, the scary sounding one.

 

People have been adding chemicals to food for centuries.  Rather than freaking out simply look up or ask about the chemical in question.  Looking at MSDS is pointless unless you understand the use of the 'chemical' almost everything is eventually fatal in large enough quantities.

 

 

Quote:

Sodium Chloride - 

 

Section 2: Composition and Information on Ingredients Composition:

 
Name                               CAS #                % by Weight
Sodium chloride                 7647-14-5               100

 

Toxicological Data on Ingredients: Sodium chloride: ORAL (LD50): Acute: 3000 mg/kg [Rat.]. 4000 mg/kg [Mouse].

DERMAL (LD50): Acute: >10000 mg/kg [Rabbit]. DUST (LC50): Acute: >42000 mg/m 1 hours [Rat].
 
Section 3: Hazards Identification
 
Potential Acute Health Effects: Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation.
 
Potential Chronic Health Effects:
CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells. Mutagenic for bacteria and/or yeast. TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available. Repeated or prolonged exposure is not known to aggravate medical condition.
 
 

 

 

Hope you don't want to through out your salt shaker now... and don't bother reading section 11 - it will make you want to through out your salt shaker.

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #9 of 15

actually, what you have given was table salt, I'm referring to other chemicals which, in result may be harmful to humans when ingested, I am not saying chemicals which are commonly used in food, every structure has chemical composition but you don't specify proteins found in the meat or the bacteria used in yogurt you serve right? take this for example: (from:http://www.chem.tamu.edu/class/majors/msdsfiles/msdscalciumchloride.htm)

 

*please read/note the hazards identification (part 3), and tell me why I should not freak out? also, please please please don't carelessly say that one should not concern on reading the MSDS, the good chemists provide you with the details of the observation regarding certain chemicals to avoid accidents, I must say the chemical engineer in me was insulted by the comment. what if someone who has higher sensitivity or has allergic reaction to this chemical somehow ingested this, it would not be just irritation of the mucous membrane, worst case scenario would be death due to anaphylactic shock.

 

 

CALCIUM CHLORIDE

MSDS Number: C0357 --- Effective Date: 11/17/99


1. Product Identification

Synonyms: calcium dichloride; calcium chloride anhydrous; Caltac(R); Dowflake
CAS No.: 10043-52-4
Molecular Weight: 110.98
Chemical Formula: CaCl2
Product Codes:
J.T. Baker: 1311
Mallinckrodt: 0771, 3266, 3630, 4225, 4748, 4777, 4822, 4870, 4875, 4880

2. Composition/Information on Ingredients

  Ingredient                                CAS No         Percent   Hazardous                                       
  ---------------------------------------   ------------   -------   ---------        
 
  Calcium Chloride                          10043-52-4     93 - 100%    Yes                                                                  

3. Hazards Identification

Emergency Overview
--------------------------
WARNING! CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED.

J.T. Baker SAF-T-DATA(tm) Ratings (Provided here for your convenience)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Health Rating: 1 - Slight
Flammability Rating: 0 - None
Reactivity Rating: 0 - None
Contact Rating: 2 - Moderate
Lab Protective Equip: GOGGLES; LAB COAT
Storage Color Code: Orange (General Storage)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Potential Health Effects
----------------------------------

Inhalation:
Granular material does not pose a significant inhalation hazard, but inhalation of dust may cause irritation to the respiratory tract, with symptoms of coughing and shortness of breath.
Ingestion:
Low toxicity material but ingestion may cause serious irritation of the mucous membrane due to heat of hydrolysis. Large amounts can cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, abdominal pain.
Skin Contact:
Solid may cause mild irritation on dry skin; strong solutions or solid in contact with moist skin may cause severe irritation, even burns.
Eye Contact:
Hazard may be either mechanical abrasion or, more serious, burns from heat of hydrolysis and chloride irritation.
Chronic Exposure:
No information found.
Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions:
No information found.


4. First Aid Measures

Inhalation:
Remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical attention.
Ingestion:
Induce vomiting immediately as directed by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Get medical attention.
Skin Contact:
Wipe off excess material from skin then immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes. Get medical attention. Wash clothing before reuse. Thoroughly clean shoes before reuse.
Eye Contact:
Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting lower and upper eyelids occasionally. Get medical attention immediately.

Note to Physician:
Oral ingestion may cause serum acidosis.


5. Fire Fighting Measures

Fire:
Not considered to be a fire hazard.
Explosion:
Not considered to be an explosion hazard.
Fire Extinguishing Media:
Use any means suitable for extinguishing surrounding fire.
Special Information:
In the event of a fire, wear full protective clothing and NIOSH-approved self-contained breathing apparatus with full facepiece operated in the pressure demand or other positive pressure mode. At high temperatures or when moistened under fire conditions, calcium chloride may produce toxic or irritating fumes.

6. Accidental Release Measures

Ventilate area of leak or spill. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment as specified in Section 8. Spills: Sweep up and containerize for reclamation or disposal. Vacuuming or wet sweeping may be used to avoid dust dispersal. Small amounts of residue may be flushed to sewer with plenty of water.
 


7. Handling and Storage

Keep in a tightly closed container, stored in a cool, dry, ventilated area. Protect against physical damage. Moist calcium chloride and concentrated solutions can corrode steel. When exposed to the atmosphere, calcium chloride will absorb water and form a solution. Containers of this material may be hazardous when empty since they retain product residues (dust, solids); observe all warnings and precautions listed for the product.


8. Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

Airborne Exposure Limits:
None established.
Ventilation System:
A system of local and/or general exhaust is recommended to keep employee exposures as low as possible. Local exhaust ventilation is generally preferred because it can control the emissions of the contaminant at its source, preventing dispersion of it into the general work area. Please refer to the ACGIH document, Industrial Ventilation, A Manual of Recommended Practices, most recent edition, for details.
Personal Respirators (NIOSH Approved):
For conditions of use where exposure to the dust or mist is apparent, a half-face dust/mist respirator may be worn. For emergencies or instances where the exposure levels are not known, use a full-face positive-pressure, air-supplied respirator. WARNING: Air-purifying respirators do not protect workers in oxygen-deficient atmospheres.
Skin Protection:
Wear protective gloves and clean body-covering clothing.
Eye Protection:
Use chemical safety goggles and/or full face shield where dusting or splashing of solutions is possible. Maintain eye wash fountain and quick-drench facilities in work area.
Other Control Measures:
Maintain good housekeeping in work area. Dust deposits on floors and other surfaces may pick up moisture and cause the surfaces to become slippery and present safety hazards.

9. Physical and Chemical Properties

Appearance: White or gray-white granules.
Odor: Odorless.
Solubility: Freely soluble in water, exothermic.
Density: 2.15
pH: 8 - 9 Aqueous solution
% Volatiles by volume @ 21C (70F): 0
Boiling Point: > 1600C (> 2912F)
Melting Point: 772C (1422F)
Vapor Density (Air=1): No information found.
Vapor Pressure (mm Hg): No information found.
Evaporation Rate (BuAc=1): No information found.

10. Stability and Reactivity

Stability:
Stable under ordinary conditions of use and storage. Substance will pick up moisture from the air and go into solution if exposed in open containers.
Hazardous Decomposition Products:
Emits toxic chlorine fumes when heated to decomposition. May form hydrogen chloride in presence of sulfuric or phosphoric acids or with water at elevated temperatures.
Hazardous Polymerization:
Will not occur.
Incompatibilities:
Methyl vinyl ether, water, zinc, bromine trifluoride, mixtures of lime and boric acid, barium chloride, and 2-furan percarboxylic acid. Metals will slowly corrode in aqueous calcium chloride solutions. Aluminum (and alloys) and yellow brass will be attacked by calcium chloride.
Conditions to Avoid:
Incompatibles.

11. Toxicological Information

 
Oral rat LD50: 1000 mg/kg. Investigated as a tumorigen and mutagen.

  --------\Cancer Lists\------------------------------------------------------
                                         ---NTP Carcinogen---
  Ingredient                             Known    Anticipated    IARC Category
  ------------------------------------   -----    -----------    -------------
  Calcium Chloride (10043-52-4)           No          No            None

12. Ecological Information

Environmental Fate:
Based on available information for Calcium Chloride anhydrous, this material will not biodegrade or bioaccumulate.
Environmental Toxicity:
The LC50/96-hour values for fish are over 100 mg/l.

13. Disposal Considerations

Whatever cannot be saved for recovery or recycling should be managed in an appropriate and approved waste disposal facility. Processing, use or contamination of this product may change the waste management options. State and local disposal regulations may differ from federal disposal regulations. Dispose of container and unused contents in accordance with federal, state and local requirements.


14. Transport Information

Not regulated.


15. Regulatory Information

  --------\Chemical Inventory Status - Part 1\---------------------------------
  Ingredient                                       TSCA  EC   Japan  Australia
  -----------------------------------------------  ----  ---  -----  ---------
  Calcium Chloride (10043-52-4)                     Yes  Yes   Yes      Yes                                      
 
  --------\Chemical Inventory Status - Part 2\---------------------------------
                                                          --Canada--
  Ingredient                                       Korea  DSL   NDSL  Phil.
  -----------------------------------------------  -----  ---   ----  -----
  Calcium Chloride (10043-52-4)                     Yes   Yes   No     Yes                             
 
  --------\Federal, State & International Regulations - Part 1\----------------
                                             -SARA 302-    ------SARA 313------
  Ingredient                                 RQ    TPQ     List  Chemical Catg.
  -----------------------------------------  ---   -----   ----  --------------
  Calcium Chloride (10043-52-4)              No    No      No         No
 
  --------\Federal, State & International Regulations - Part 2\----------------
                                                        -RCRA-    -TSCA-
  Ingredient                                 CERCLA     261.33     8(d) 
  -----------------------------------------  ------     ------    ------
  Calcium Chloride (10043-52-4)              No         No         No                   
 
 
Chemical Weapons Convention:  No     TSCA 12(b):  No     CDTA:  No
SARA 311/312:  Acute: Yes      Chronic: No   Fire: No  Pressure: No
Reactivity: No          (Pure / Solid)

 

Australian Hazchem Code: No information found.
Poison Schedule: No information found.
WHMIS:
This MSDS has been prepared according to the hazard criteria of the Controlled Products Regulations (CPR) and the MSDS contains all of the information required by the CPR.


16. Other Information

NFPA Ratings: Health: 1 Flammability: 0 Reactivity: 1
Label Hazard Warning:
WARNING! CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED.
Label Precautions:
Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing.
Wash thoroughly after handling.
Avoid breathing dust.
Keep container closed.
Use only with adequate ventilation.
Label First Aid:
If swallowed, induce vomiting immediately as directed by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. In case of contact, wipe off excess material from skin then immediately flush eyes or skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes. Wash clothing before reuse. If inhaled, remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. In all cases, get medical attention.
Product Use:
Laboratory Reagent.
Revision Information:
No changes.
Disclaimer:
************************************************************************************************
Mallinckrodt Baker, Inc. provides the information contained herein in good faith but makes no representation as to its comprehensiveness or accuracy. This document is intended only as a guide to the appropriate precautionary handling of the material by a properly trained person using this product. Individuals receiving the information must exercise their independent judgment in determining its appropriateness for a particular purpose. MALLINCKRODT BAKER, INC. MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE WITH RESPECT TO THE INFORMATION SET FORTH HEREIN OR THE PRODUCT TO WHICH THE INFORMATION REFERS. ACCORDINGLY, MALLINCKRODT BAKER, INC. WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM USE OF OR RELIANCE UPON THIS INFORMATION.
************************************************************************************************
Prepared by: Strategic Services Division
Phone Number: (314) 539-1600 (U.S.A.)

Information w/o testing and validation is just data.

Information comprehended w/o testing and validation is just opinion.

INFORMATION COMPREHENDED WITH TESTING AND VALIDATION IS KNOWLEDGE.

I don't just read/write recipes and try them out; I study, analyze, test, validate and revalidate them. :)

Reply

Information w/o testing and validation is just data.

Information comprehended w/o testing and validation is just opinion.

INFORMATION COMPREHENDED WITH TESTING AND VALIDATION IS KNOWLEDGE.

I don't just read/write recipes and try them out; I study, analyze, test, validate and revalidate them. :)

Reply
post #10 of 15

Even the use of monosodium glutamate (MSG as commonly known) used in food is still highly debatable. Sodium Bicarbonate for instance when used on small amounts acts a leavening agent but it can be used as a cleaning agent, nonetheless, depending on the usage it may or may not be harmful when ingested.

Information w/o testing and validation is just data.

Information comprehended w/o testing and validation is just opinion.

INFORMATION COMPREHENDED WITH TESTING AND VALIDATION IS KNOWLEDGE.

I don't just read/write recipes and try them out; I study, analyze, test, validate and revalidate them. :)

Reply

Information w/o testing and validation is just data.

Information comprehended w/o testing and validation is just opinion.

INFORMATION COMPREHENDED WITH TESTING AND VALIDATION IS KNOWLEDGE.

I don't just read/write recipes and try them out; I study, analyze, test, validate and revalidate them. :)

Reply
post #11 of 15

Vera,

 

Perhaps you are missing a critical point, that is, the ingredients used in molecular gastronomy are just that, ingredients.

 

If I am not grossly mistaken, they have all been certified as food safe by the FDA. Take a look at: http://www.modernistcookingmadeeasy.com/info/modernist-techniques/more/spherification-technique for an overview.
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #12 of 15

PeteMcCracken,

 

I may have overreacted a bit but I'm also trying to give an open mind on this, especially on molecular gastronomy. It's just that as a researcher, it has been second nature to me to test and retest since I am aware that there were instances that in a certain period of time, certain chemicals are deemed safe only to be studied and researched again that may have certain ill effects and are now deemed unsafe. I'm just saddened by the fact that some just don't do, in my opinion, their homework by reading. And yeah, I have to admit I am deeply grossed out by by the fact that the MSDS provided by my colleagues are carelessly deemed by some people as pointless. I mean, they have studied and observed carefully each and every chemical they provide us to give us information on the hazards it could post and even the handling of the chemical for that matter. It's just something I cannot let pass, it's an insult.

 

I'll try my best not to overreact next time. thanks.

 

Vera

Information w/o testing and validation is just data.

Information comprehended w/o testing and validation is just opinion.

INFORMATION COMPREHENDED WITH TESTING AND VALIDATION IS KNOWLEDGE.

I don't just read/write recipes and try them out; I study, analyze, test, validate and revalidate them. :)

Reply

Information w/o testing and validation is just data.

Information comprehended w/o testing and validation is just opinion.

INFORMATION COMPREHENDED WITH TESTING AND VALIDATION IS KNOWLEDGE.

I don't just read/write recipes and try them out; I study, analyze, test, validate and revalidate them. :)

Reply
post #13 of 15

You honestly have no idea how to read an MSDS....and relate it to reality.  You may have a degree but you are no researcher...

 

Take your example of .... oh oh oh scary Calcium Chloride.

 

While I don't condone taking a spoonful of it in its pure form - hundreds of thousands of people (if not millions) on this planet have been saved by having it injected in solution directly into their veins!

 

 

ACETATED RINGER'S IN PLASTIC CONTAINER CALCIUM CHLORIDE; POTASSIUM CHLORIDE; SODIUM ACETATE; SODIUM CHLORIDE

 

There are hundreds other different uses... but i'd rather save band-width.

 

Stop - think - learn.

 

Stay Calm... Carry On!

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #14 of 15

i know this is a late reply but i do hope this can help, if your spheres or caviar were not firming up then you should increase the portion of your calcium bath and Alginate. If your ingredients are high on acidity then you should do the reverse technique (Calcium Lactate + Xanthan and then Alginate Bath). For vinegar such as balsamic you can use Agar and a cold vegetable oil bath.
 

post #15 of 15

vera 

 

actually if I'm right all the "chemicals" are natural i.e agar= sea weed and so theoretically there not chemicals.  yes people could have allergic reactions but hey people can be allergic to anything so that the only way they could be harmful and obviously along as you use them properly they won't harm you

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