I mastered the correct posture to play with alginate gel.
I mastered the correct posture to play with alginate gel.
You can make a nice gel ball this time.

previous articles have talked about alginate gel, which is a safe and fun little experiment. Alginic acid is a natural polysaccharide extracted from brown algae such as kelp. Its sodium salt is a sticky liquid when dissolved in water, but it will change into a gel insoluble in water when it encounters calcium ions.

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the following is a schematic diagram, calcium ions play a role in cross-linking:

this small experiment is relatively safe, the raw materials are not toxic, and if they are food-grade materials, they can also be used to cook food. so you can try it at home if you have the chance. The recipe I see is generally dissolving 0.5 milligrams of sodium alginate in 100 milliliters of water (pure water is better), dissolving the same quality of calcium chloride in another 100 milliliters of water, and then changing colors as you like. The concentration is different in different places, you can adjust it by yourself, the dissolution of sodium alginate is relatively slow, you can use an electric mixer to speed up the dissolution, and then rest for a while to defoaming.

generally speaking, sodium alginate can be dropped into the calcium solution with an eyedropper, or injected with a syringe, so that small particles like "fish roe" or long strips of gel can be obtained. The middle is often not completely solidified, so you can make a "burst" effect (this feature will be used in molecular cuisine).

this looks good, but it is difficult to make a larger gel "water balloon" with this direct dumping method. I have tried to spoon sodium alginate and slowly put it into calcium salt solution before, but no matter what I do, I can't keep its regular shape. In the end, I only get something in the style of painting.

(enough of this grotesque thing. )

however, recently I read some molecular cooking tutorials, get to the correct way to open the alginate gel ball today to share the results _ (: alginate "∠) _

first, match the calcium salt solution you need (molecular cooking will flavor this part of the solution, such as cocktail drinks, we will directly use calcium chloride solution here), and then put it into the ice box freeze molding. Next, prepare the sodium alginate solution, take out the calcium salt ice, completely soak in the sodium alginate solution for a few minutes, and then carefully remove the excess alginic acid and ions with clean water.

Note: these ingredients are safe enough, but if you want to make food, be sure to use food-grade ingredients. My sodium alginate is not very pure, so it can't be used for food.

Ice soaked in sodium alginate:

as the ice melts, the calcium salt on the surface comes into contact with the alginic acid outside, so it becomes a gel to fix the shape.

wash it in clean water:

pretend to set a plate. I am satisfied with the result. At least the things made in this way are shape-controllable.

(spherical, hemispherical and other moulds are better, heart-shaped is used here)

in theory, as long as there is a suitable mold and careful operation, larger water balloons can also be made. Water balloons made in this way can also have a better "burst" effect.


cut into it, it's still liquid:

more reading: "water polo", "fish roe", "fishing candy", the various ways of playing alginic acid

if you have a chance, you can also try ~