financially beneficial. Although a milk based gel can be made very quickly using carrageen, and will
set much more quickly that a gelatine based milk gel, often used in milk puddings, the resulting gel
using carrageenans will not have the same feeling in the mouth – since the gel will not melt at mouth
temperatures like a gelatine based gel will.
Although these seaweed based gelling agents have several useful properties, they should not be
thought of as gelatine replacements – since they are carbohydrate rather than proteins based, gels
made with them tend to appear grainy, due to some carbohydrate molecules mumping together if the
gelling agent is not sufficiently dispersed, and they will not melt at mouth temperatures like gelatine.
However, their advantages are that these gels will stay solid in warm environments (such as hot
countries) and can used in preparations containing fruits such as papaya, kiwi and pineapple, which
contain proteases that prevent gelatine based gels from setting.
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More about culinary ingredients: Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetable and fruit composition
Like meat, vegetables are mainly composed of water, proteins, and carbohydrates, as well as many
nutritious components like minerals and vitamins. Like in meat, all these components are carefully
organised and arranged in cells throughout the vegetable. These cells, like in animal cells, contain
many sub-compartments or “sub-cells”, which separate the various different components and therefore
different functions of the cells.
A typical plant cell, surrounded by a thick cell wall and containing several subcompartments
Plant cells differ from animal cells by having a thick tough cell wall surrounding the cell, which is made
up of the carbohydrates pectin, hemicelluloses and cellulose. These carbohydrates in the cell wall play
an important role in determining plant texture. Plant cell also contain the carbohydrate starch, often
located in starch granules, most commonly found in the storage organs of plants (such as the tubes).