A chef's guide to gelling, thickening, and emulsifying by Toni Massanés

By Toni Massanés

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These are only examples, and they can vary depending on many different factors. • These examples of how texturizing agents can be used provide a guideline for further experimentation. Of course, the real range of possibilities is much too great to fit into a summary table. Chapter 2 Gelling Agents alícia GENERAL PROPERTIES OF GELLING AGENTS What Is a Gel? A gel is a colloidal dispersion of a solid within a liquid. The unique texture of gels is obtained due to their characteristic three-dimensional network structure.

Condensation from evaporated water can form a layer on top of the solution that may cause defects in the resulting gel. Agar-agar gels are thermo-reversible, so it is possible to modify the concentration of the gelling agent used if the initial gel is not formed as expected, although the final texture may vary slightly due to the evaporation that occurs when the solution is boiled a second time. Gelling Agents 45 If the gel is agitated or is subjected to sudden movements while gel formation is occurring, the gel structure may break, and the resulting gel may have irregularities and undergo syneresis (loss of water).

Soy sauce, vinegar), the quantity of the gel consumed will be smaller but should have a higher concentration of gelling agent so that the gel will be harder and linger longer in the mouth, enabling the flavor to persist. Elasticity Elasticity is defined as a mechanical property of the gel. Gels have different degrees of elasticity: some are not elastic and break irreversibly 24 A Chef's Guide to Gelling, Thickening when subjected to a force, while others are elastic and can withstand distortion.

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