Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 11:52 am
Because I'm an idiot I didn't get my camera until the last full day of the con so have almost not photos. But what I did get was Rob and Lise's awesome Molecular Gastronomy Hour. It reminded me a bit of Kitchen Chemistry.

The main star was Sodium Alginate. That post has the main gist, so briefly:
Sodium alginate is a flavourless gelling agent which forms a harder gel in contact with calcium.
We put a mix of cream and yogurt into unflavoured sodium alginate gel and got, well...a mushy mess. But in theory the gel covered milk balls sound cool :)

We then got a syringe of coke gel and dripped it into calcium chloride and made teeny little salty sweet balls. They needed more rinsing than we could manage so looked better than they tasted but again, the idea is cool :)

(The panel also included a comparison of banana smoothies with and without xanthum gum, but since I can't eat any of the ingredients but the banana and it just looked like banana smoothies didn't record that bit)
Sunday, April 19th, 2009 07:47 am (UTC)
The reverse spherification - the one that didn't work on the day even though we had tested it...(grumble) can make very long yoghurt 'noodles' which look a bit like gross intestinal parasites. They taste good though, and are great for yuk factor.

Thank you for your lovely report, so much more coherent than anything I could put together!
Monday, April 20th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
Thanks. All those years in science communication finally paid off! :)

Amusing thing I noticed today:
During the panel I kept thinking "Sodium alginate, I know that from somewhere.."
This morning I looked down at my Gaviscon (an over-the-counter antacid) and realised that sodium alginate and calcium carbonate are two of the active ingredients. So there's currently a wobbly layer of gel in my tummy :)