One of the most common questions we get is “What type of Gellan gum should I buy”? There are so many factors that go into answering this question that often I must offer the dreaded response “It depends”. But before you throw your hands up, the first step to deciding the right Gellan for you is to get to know your Gellan.
“What type of Gellan gum should I buy?”
Gellan F makes a brittle gel that is clear. A brittle gel is a term we throw around a lot and it may confuse some. Think of it like this, if you try to bend a brittle gel it will split and break similar to gelatin. Gellan F should be mixed into cold water before heating to between 167-203F (75-95C). At this temperature the Gellan gum fully hydrates and will turn into a gel once it cools below 50-122F (10-50C). Acidity plays a factor in the gelling of Gellan F, make sure the liquid you are trying to gel is above 4ph. Litmus test strips are the easiest way to find out how acidic a liquid is. Gellan F is thermoirreversible which means it cannot be reheated and melted.
Gellan LT100 makes an elastic gel that is opaque. An elastic gel is a soft gel that can stretch slightly. Gellan LT100 should be mixed into cold water before heating above 185F(85C) or above. At this temperature the Gellan gum fully hydrates and will turn into a gel once it cools below 158- 176F (70-80C). It can also be used as a thickener is the liquid isn’t heated. Acidity plays less of a factor and it can work with pH levels as low as 3. Gellan LT100 is thermoreversible and can be heated and melted.
Confusing? Here is a handy dandy table to help you reference all of this.
|Gellan F||Gellan LT100|
|Usage ratio||0.05 – 3%||0.05 – 3%|
|Hydration temp||167-203F (75-95C)||>185F (85C)|
|Gelling temp||50-122F (10-50C)||158- 176F (70-80C)|
|Melting Temp||176-284F (80-140C)||160-167F (71-75C)|
Gellan F is the most commonly used of the two products, It can be used for fluid gels, suspension in drinks, plating gels, and more. If you are using a recipe that just says “Gellan gum” most of the time it is Gellan F. If you are thickening or gelling dairy products then we suggest Gellan LT100 due to its opacity and creamy texture.
It will come down to what you need for the final product. If you’re still scratching your head over which Gellan best fits your needs – as yourself these questions:
If you’re thinking “I want a clear and soft gel” you may want to choose from one of our many other gelling ingredients. Just write me through Ask a Chef and I’ll help you tackle it.
But wait there’s more! You also have the ability to use both these ingredients in the same recipe to get the benefit of both ingredients. This isn’t a cure all situation as there is a give and take when doing something like this. The one thing you will not be able to change is the opacity of the gel if you use Gellan LT100. If you do choose to so this there will be some testing to do to find the correct texture.
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