Edible films are thin layers made from edible ingredients and used for visual effects or adding a flavor to a dish or drink and are a part of the modernist cuisine cooking methods and the group of solid cocktails. There are also some other uses for Films in the food industry; they can improve the shelf life of products by eliminating moisture, microbial growth, and sensory changes. More details can an edible film be found here.
I used Agar and Sodium Alginate to see the differences between these two methods.
Both recipes are from the Khymos website.
100 mL of water
1 g agar (1.0 %)
1 g glycerol
Dissolve Agar in water. Bring to boil for 1 min on low heat. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
When lukewarm, add glycerol. Mix well and pour over a plastic foil to obtain a thin film of Agar which gels within minutes.
I’ve tried this recipe also without glycerol, and the film forms nicely, but it is more fragile. It smells and tastes good, though.
I left it overnight in the fridge, and it became a little more manageable, but still was breaking easier and was not as flexible as the Sodium Alginate film.
Note; the flaked Agar is stronger than the flavored ones.
Modified Sodium alginate recipe, which I served as part of a dessert menu, with Hot Mango ice cream and berries wrapped around with the raspberry film.
- 300 gr. raspberry syrup
- 8 oz water – that depends on the viscosity of the syrup
- 1.0% Sodium alginate
- Calcium lactate/gluconate solution for spraying
- 200 ml distilled water
- 10 gr. or 5% Calcium Gluconate
- Prepare a 1% sodium alginate solution with the fruit juice.
- Pour onto a flat dish, baking platter, silicone mat, or similar; it needs to be leveled.
- Wait for 5 min before spraying with the CG solution.
- Prepare calcium lactate solution by blending. Try not to incorporate too much air, strain, and spray onto alginate film.
Allow several minutes to set.
I also put the film in a convection oven for 15 min at 270F. After that, I let it cool down for a few minutes. The final result is a flexible film with a nice raspberry flavor.
Small/thin films can be turned around and sprayed from the other side for a faster setting.
After spraying (to evaporate calcium solution), short heating in the microwave gives greater flexibility and strength.