emulsifiers and sometimes gelling agents, and help to improve the consistency of frozen products.
These gums include Arabic gum (extracted from the Acacia tree), Guar gum (extracted from the seeds
of a bean plant); locust bean gum (extracted from the seeds of the carob tree); and xanthan and gellan
gum, produced by certain fermentation bacteria. Among these gums, guar gum and gellan gum are
the most interesting.
Guar gum: Guar gum is extremely water soluble, and will thicken any liquid sauce at a very low
concentration (0.5 %) within a matter of minutes. It can be added in the presence of acid, salt and
sugar without affecting its thickening ability, and does not give a noticeable taste to the sauce. An
aromatic liquid stock can be transformed into a thick sauce, ideal for decorating plates, in just a few
Gellan gum: Gellan gum is also very interesting. It acts as a thickener when added to a cold liquid,
and will actually form a clear gel with good flavour release on heating, unlike all the other gelling
agents (who tend to melt on heating).
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More about culinary ingredients: Sweets
Many kind of sweets are made of two basic ingredients – sugar and water. The mixture is heated to
evaporate some water and subsequently cooled to solidify. Both the proportion of sugar and water in
the original mixture, and the way in which they sugar molecules are arranged in the final product,
greatly affect the sweets texture, and allows a large number if sweets of completely different texture
and taste to be produced.
The first step in making sweets is to heat the sugar and water mixture until it boils. At the boiling point,
water molecules will start to evaporate (not sugar). The more the water molecules evaporate, the more
concentrated the sugar solution becomes, and the higher its boiling point becomes.
The sugar solution is then removed from the heat when the desired sugar concentration is achieved
(which can be determined by the corresponding boiling temperature of the solution). The higher the