In many ways sodium alginate has become the poster child for modernist cooking due to its use in spherification. Despite being used as an example of the "chemicals" used in molecular gastronomy it is actually a natural gelling agent taken from the cell walls of brown algae.
It easily disperses, hydrates, and gels in any temperature of liquid. Sodium alginate gels when it comes in contact with calcium. It also has many uses other than spherification such as thickening and general gelling.
Sodium alginate works best in non-acidic mixtures. If you are trying to use it in something acidic you can usually add sodium citrate to alter the pH before adding the sodium alginate.
You can discover more information about sodium alginate from my how to use sodium alginate guide or any of the sodium alginate articles and recipes below.
Using miniature spheres, referred to as caviar, is a great way to add little bursts of flavor to dishes. Here we use a chipotle water but you can use the same technique on any liquid that doesn't contain calcium.
Sodium alginate is most well known for its use in spherification. It is a natural gelling agent taken from the cell walls of brown algae.
It easily disperses, hydrates, and gels in any temperature of liquid. Sodium alginate gels when it comes in contact with calcium. It also has many uses other than spherification such as thickening and general gelling. It works best in non-acidic mixtures.
One of the most interesting things in molecular gastronomy is spherification. Spherification is basically a process that seals a liquid in a jelly like membrane. There are several ways to accomplish this but in this article we will focus on the method of reverse spherification using calcium lactate and sodium alginate. When the calcium and the sodium alginate come in contact they form a membrane, encapsulating anything inside of it.
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