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What is Gelification?

Papaya agar agar noodles plate Gelification is defined as the process of turning a substance into a gelatinous form. With this process, liquid substances are converted into solids with the help of a gelling agent. Common gelling agents come from natural sources and include agar-agar, gelatin, Carageenan, gellan gum, pectin and methylcellulose. More often than not, these gelling agents are presented in a dry, solid form which needs to be hydrated.

All of these are hydrocolloids and react when dispersed in liquids. Gels resulting from this process may range from tough and hard to weak and soft. Gels are characterized by having a viscous property when heated and becoming solid or jelly like once cooled. Melting and cooling points for gelling agents may differ according to type.

Gelification has been around for years, and it has undergone a lot of changes in terms of use. In the modern kitchen the gelification technique has many different uses. It can serve to stabilize liquids without affecting taste. It may also be used for suspending food particles and creating various shapes for aesthetic purposes. Lastly, it can also be used to create various textures and improve dining experiences.

Related Gelification Articles

Clam Chowder with Smoked Clam Recipe

Clam chowder custardb w For a modern twist on this clam chowder with smoked clams recipe I gel the chowder, cube it, and serve it on a crunchy sourdough crouton with a smoked clam on top. A tasty and talked about party treat!
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Mango Noodles

Mango locust agar noodles 2 These mango noodles add a great flavor punch and visual touch to dishes. I like to serve them draped over ice cream or a sundae but they can also be heated and served with jerk pork or as a garnish on an Asian citrus salad.
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Homemade Lox and Cream Cheese Noodles Recipe

Lox This crostini recipe moves the traditional deli food of lox and cream cheese on a bagel into fancy modernist bites. The cream cheese is turned into gelled noodles that are served on toasted bagel rounds with pickled red onion. An easy to pick up and deliciously flavorful party food!
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Blackcurrant Foam

Black currant gelatin foam 2 This thicker blackcurrant foam recipe is full of flavor. It can be used on desserts to add some sweet and tart flavor or as a sauce to liven up a fish entree.
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Chocolate Foam

Chocolate gelatin foam 2 This recipe produces a thick chocolate foam that is a tasty fun way to top ice cream or brownies. It makes a wonderful smooth dessert when served by itself with just a sprinkle of cinnamon and powdered sugar topping it off!
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Mussels with Curry Foam Recipe

Curry mussels with curry foam For this recipe I make a foam instead of using the normally thin liquid associated with a dish of mussels. After removing the mussels from their shells, I serve them individually with the curry foam on top. This exceptional mussel bite turns a messy meal into an elegant and easy to eat party food.
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Blackberry-Peach Wrapped Pork Recipe

Blackberry wrapped pork The star of most of my parties is meat and this blackberry-peach wrapped sous vided pork offering is no exception! It makes a fun presentation besides the additional sweetness and flavor from roasting the fruit complements the pork perfectly.
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White Chocolate Clouds Gelatin Foam Recipe

White chocolate clouds White chocolate foam dispensed over ripe berries, it does not get much better than that! This recipe will wow your guests.
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Creamsicle with Sous Vide Infused Orange-Vanilla Vodka Recipe

Vanilla orange infused vodka Using sous vide infused vanilla-orange vodka makes this modernist cocktail extra flavorful and the half and half adds a richness that cannot be beat.
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Habanero-Peach Dip Recipe

Peach habanero dip This dip recipe combines the spicy heat of habanero peppers with the sweet taste of fresh ripe peaches. The resulting tangy dip is great on vegetables or even meat. By altering the amount of peppers used, you can raise or lower the heat to suit your guests.
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Paloma Recipe with Grapefruit Foam

Paloma with grapefruit foam front lit Tequila has a bad reputation as a party drink but you can tame it if you replace the shots with this sophisticated cocktail. The paloma is a traditional Mexican cocktail and is much more common than a margarita south of the border. It is usually made with tequila and a grapefruit soda, such as squirt, served over ice, and is both easy to make and delicious.
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Apple Cider Agar Gel Cubes Recipe

Apple cider gel cubes2 These gel cubes are super easy to put together and they make a great small bite for people to enjoy. The quality of the cider you use will directly relate to how good the gels turn out.
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Strawberry Daiquiri Agar Gel Cubes Recipe

Strawberry daiquiri agar gel side These cocktail cubes are a fun way to entertain your guests. They are rum infused strawberries encased in a daiquiri cube. When you bite into them the cube starts off with a sweet and tart flavor followed up by the kick of the rum-infused strawberries.
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Shortcakes with Agar Fruit Gels and Siphon Whipped Cream

Agar fruit gel shortcake One of my favorite spring dishes is shortcakes with fresh fruits or berries. The other day I decided to take advantage of some great looking berries and made a variety of shortcakes. To make them more modern, and to work on some recipes for my upcoming book, I used some whipping siphon foams and agar agar fruit gels.
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Salmon Bites with Tomatillo Agar Fluid Gel Sauce Recipe

Agar fluid gel wide These Mexican inspired salmon bites pack a lot of flavor in a little package. The acidity from the tomatillos compliments the salmon perfectly and the crunch from the fried tortillas adds great texture.
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Orange-Ginger Gel Sheets

Orange ginger agar sheet 2 One interesting use of modernist gelling is to create pliable gel sheets. These gel sheets are made by adding a combination of agar agar and gelatin to a flavored liquid and letting it set. The agar and gelatin add both elasticity for strength and a nice brittleness for flavor release. The ratio of the two ingredient will determine the final characteristic of the gel sheets.
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Classic Gelatin Marshmallows

Gelatin marshmallows 2 Marshmallows are a favorite food of children everywhere. These homemade ones are so much better than store bought that there is really no comparison. Whether you want to eat these on smores, in hot cocoa or just plain they will amaze you and your friends.
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Poblano Iota Carrageenan Custard Recipe

Iota carrageenan poblano custard 2 This creamy iota carrageenan custard is full of poblano flavor and great as an addition to many different dishes. You can serve it alongside pork chops or pork belly, or even as a side with fish.
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Agar Bloody Mary Gel Recipe

Agar bloody mary recipe wide One of the fun things about modernist cooking is changing the textures of common dishes while keeping the flavors the same. This creates almost a confusion in the palate when it's being eaten and the brain recognizes the flavors but not the textures. This recipe creates a solid Bloody Mary gel with agar agar that has applications in various dishes.
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Papaya Agar Agar Gel Cube Recipe

Agar gel wide These agar gel cubes are a great way to add a unique visual style to a dish, as well as creating little bursts of papaya. You could use a similar agar recipe to gel many different liquids, depending on the dish you are creating.
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Sous Vide Lemon Curd

Lemon curd Although you can now buy lemon curd in most supermarkets, it is extremely simple to make in your water oven, and the homemade version doesn't contain any preservatives or artificial flavors. Traditional recipes require cooking the lemon-egg mixture in a double boiler until the curd thickens. This can be tricky, as one or two degrees can make the difference between success and disaster. With the sous vide technique, the curd cooks itself without any stress or stirring.
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Papaya Agar Agar Noodles Recipe

Papaya agar agar noodles side Gels are a very common technique in modernist cooking. This modernist recipe uses the gelling properties of agar agar to make papaya noodles. These agar agar noodles are a great addition to a several different dishes and are an easy way to add a touch of flair.
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Gels and Gelling

Strawberry daiquiri agar gel close The modernist technique of gelling or gelification is used very often to add texture and to create unique presentations in molecular gastronomy.
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Balsamic Vinegar Pearls Recipe

Balsamic pearls thumbnail One of the easiest molecular gastronomy recipes to try is by creating "pearls". Most pearls are solid jelly balls that can be used to garnish dishes or as an amuse-bouche.

Here we use sweet-sour balsamic vinegar to make pearls that are a great way to add a hit of flavor to many different dishes. The process of making them is even pretty easy.

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