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Spherification | Molecular Additives (50G)

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Spherification is a cooking technique by which a liquid is dropped into a solution to create a thin gel surrounding the liquid. The resulting spheres, when eaten, produce a burst of liquid flavor in the mouth.

Sodium alginate is extracted from brown seaweed. It is used as a stabilizer for ice cream, yogurt, cream, and cheese. It also acts as a thickener and emulsifier for salad, pudding, jam, tomato juice, and canned products. It is a hydration agent for noodles, bread, cool and frozen products. In the presence of calcium and acid mediums, it forms resilient gels. It is a cold gelling agent which needs no heat to gel. It is most commonly used with calcium chloride or calcium lactate in the spherification process.

Calcium Chloride is used in the baking industry for its anti-caking effects, as a salt replacement, as a sequestrant and firming agent and several other applications. It is solid at room temperature but highly soluble in water. It is also one of the primary ingredients in direct spherification by activating sodium alginate in this spherification process.

Calcium Lactate can be used together with calcium gluconate to form a calcium-rich product which is perfect for reverse spherification (dipped in a sodium alginate bath) without adding any flavor to the end product. It is soluble in cold liquids and can be used with acidic, high alcohol, and fatty mediums.

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salt of citric acid. Like citric acid, it has a sour taste, and like other salts, it also has a salty taste. It is commonly known as sour salt. It is mainly used as a food additive, usually for flavor or as a preservative. It gives club soda both its sour and salty flavors, for example. It reduces the acidity of foods, so it allows spherification to occur with strongly acidic ingredients. Sodium citrate is also used as a food antioxidant as well as a sequestrant. It dissolves easily and acts instantaneously.