Category : Ingredients

Locust bean gum

What is it? Locust bean gum (aka carob or E410) is a thickening and stabilising agent extracted from the seeds of the carob tree which grow in Mediterranean countries. It has been known for its thickening properties since ancient times but it was only in the 20th century that it was used commercially. Locust bean […]

Guar Gum

What is it? Guar gum (E412) is a fine power made from grinding up guar beans which are principally grown in India and Pakistan. It can be used as a thickener, emulsifier and stabiliser. How does it work? Guar gum impedes the movement of water molecules, allowing it to act as a very effective thickening […]

Gellan Gum

Gellan Gum

Gellan 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 […]


A very effective thickening agent which displays unique gelling properties in that it gels on heating and melts on cooling, in the opposite way to gelatine. In addition, methylcellulose can act as an emulsifier and be used to form foams, mousses and edible films. Also, methylcellulose can reduce the uptake of batter during frying and […]

Sodium Alginate

A thickening and gelling agent that forms heat stable gels in the presence of calcium. This property allows cooks to make small gelled spheres, in a technique known as spherification. Sodium alginate has been used in the food industry for many years for the production of gel-like foods – for example, the pimento stuffing in […]


Agar is a vegetarian gelling agent derived from dried seaweed. Although some agar is wild harvested, it is more commonly farmed commercially.

Like gelatine, agar is thermo-reversible but at much higher temperatures, and it has around 5 times the setting properties – so much less is needed. Unlike gelatine, agar sets at room temperature but will hold its shape when hot.

Iota Carrageenan

Iota Carrageenan is a gelling agent extracted from a type of seaweed also called Irish Moss. It is found off the coast of Ireland, close to the town of Carrageen from where it gets its name. Irish moss has been used for centuries to make a traditional milk pudding dessert.

Soya Lecithin

Soya Lecithin

Lecithin (pronounced less—uh-thin) is a molecule naturally found in egg yolks and soy beans. It is ideal for making foams, airs and emulsions – mixtures containing both oil and water such as mayonnaise. The majority of lecithin is extracted from soy beans meaning it is both vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Xanthan Gum

What is it? Xanthan is a thickener derived from a type of bacteria that release a sticky gum. This gum is extracted and dried and has been used in a huge variety of pre-prepared foods. Recently, chefs have begun using it for its unique thickening properties and ability to mimic the ‘mouthfeel’ of traditionally high fat products.

Kappa Carrageenan

What is it? Kappa Carrageenan is a gelling agent extracted from a type of red seaweed that grows off the Irish coast. It has been used to make a traditional Irish pudding for centuries and is now being used by some of the world’s top chefs as an alternative to traditional gelling agents such as […]