By Toni Massanés
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Additional info for A chef's guide to gelling, thickening, and emulsifying agents
12 A Chef's Guide to Gelling, Thickening Heat Resistance Conditions The heat resistance of a texturizing product is an important factor to be contemplated. The ability of maintaining certain preparations such as gelatins or foams, in high temperature conditions, is one the most important advances achieved in the development of texturizing agents. , water, water enriched with other ingredients, combination with of solutions with other basic foods) when subjected to the required service temperatures for customers: • In a convection oven: a system of controlled temperature, with a homogeneous heat under normal conditions • In a broiler (salamander): a fast and frequently used heat source for heating finished dishes for the service or for instant cooking • In hot or boiling water: the heat transfer from boiling water to food is very homogenous; one of the mainly used cooking and heating techniques in the world (along with deep frying) • In a pan: heated directly by the pan or fried in oil • In a microwave: a quick way to heat food but difficult to control when rapidly heating food that reach high temperatures; microwave action in heating products is irregular Final Product Conservation The preservation of texturized products is critical since the cooking preparations must often take place days in advance of the moment they have to be served to have a sufficient supply.
Dispersion: The gelling agent must be mixed into the liquid phase in a homogeneous manner. 2. Hydration: After the gelling agent disperses into the liquid, the hydrocolloid molecules must form a network with water. Most commonly this is achieved by the action of heat, although in some cases agitation is sufficient. Once these steps are achieved, the network of hydrocolloid molecules in solution bond together as the solution cools because the texturizing agent finds the necessary ions in the solution, such as calcium, to make the network and also due to interactions within molecules themselves like the proteins of gelatin.
Gels produced with gelatin are classified as soft gels and are very elastic. • Gelatin is typically used as a gelling agent but can also be used as an emulsifying or foaming agent. 28 A Chef's Guide to Gelling, Thickening • Gelatin does not dissolve in oil. • Pregelatinized gelatin powder can be hydrated without the application of heat. Historical Notes Although the ancient Egyptians discovered gelatin, it was not until the late seventeenth century that gelatin began to be extracted from animal bones.