Gellan Gum

6a00d83451f83a69e200e54f8df9b88833-800wiGellan gum (or E418) is a versatile gelling agent that can produce a wide variety of textures varying from firm, brittle gels that crumble in the mouth, to fluid or elastic gels (depending on conditions & type used). It can also be used as a thickening, stabilising and suspending agent. It sets exceptionally fast at ambient temperatures and enables outstanding flavour release.

What is it?

It is derived from Sphingomonas elodea, a bacteria that grows on an aquatic plant.

It forms gels when combined with foods rich in calcium, magnesium or potassium (high positive ion content). Calcium rich dairy products, calcium chloride etc may also be needed to aid setting.

Types of gel achievable

1. Firm, brittle gel – Using low acyl gellan gum in very low concentrations – from just 0.1% – firm and brittle gels can be made. These gels are crystal clear, making them very appealing visually.

2. Fluid gel – By agitating low acyl gellan gum gels as they cool, fluid gels can be created. They have apparent low viscosity, yet have remarkable suspending properties, successfully suspending particles such as coloured spheres, herbs, and even gases.

3. Elastic gel – By incorporating high acyl gellan, a far more flexible result can be achieved. The resultant gel can be made into thin sheets that can be rolled or folded.

4. Spheres and strands – a pure, gellan gum solution can be dropped into an ion rich water solution to form gelled spheres or strands.

How should it be used?

As well as being heat stable, gellan gum is also stable over a wide pH range meaning it is suitable for use with many different foods. As with any molecular ingredient, experimentation is essential to achieve the desired effect.

Who uses it?

Sam Mason of Tailor in New York

Eddie Shepherd of Greens in Didsbury

John Campbell of Cowarth Park in Ascot

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