Molecular gastronomy is a part of cooking that includes various food science that emphasizes the physical and chemical processes during the cooking process. These processes are carried out to make the food more flavorful and give them an artistic appearance. Molecular gastronomy techniques are primarily practiced in restaurants.

This does not only involve science and technology. It also involves love and passion for cooking and an artistic approach towards cooking. Molecular gastronomy, in recent days, is described as the art and science of preparing and serving food.

Using molecular gastronomy, a lot of exquisite dishes can be created. Some of them are foam curry, smoked beer and cocktails, arugula spaghetti, transparent ravioli, powdered Nutella, and many more exciting and unique dishes.

Molecular gastronomy happens due to the interaction of different ingredients and various processes. Therefore, there are various molecular gastronomy techniques required for preparing multiple dishes. For these techniques, various different kinds of tools and equipment are needed.

10 MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY TECHNIQUES

EMULSIFICATION

Emulsification is a process using which you can create foams or airs that dissolves in the mouth. To create foams or airs, soy lecithin is mixed with any chosen food ingredient using a hand blender. Balsamic foam can be created using this emulsification to pair it with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes.

SPHERIFICATION

The process of creating soft, squishy spheres is known as spherification. Calcium, chloride, and alginate are mostly used in this technique. These edible spheres resemble caviar eggs and pearls, which help make a dish look pretty when served. One of the most common and famous products of spherification is bursting boba used in bubble tea.

TRANSGLUTAMINASE

Transglutaminase is also known as meat glue. It is an enzyme and is used to bind pieces of meats and fish fillets. For example, it can be used to create a combination of different kinds of meats and slices of bacon spirals.

GELIFICATION

Gelification is the process of transferring liquid and liquified foods into gels. This is done by mainly using sugar, agar agar, or carrageenan. This is a great technique to prepare desserts.

SOUS VIDE

The technique of cooking where vacuum-sealed food is slow-cooked in a water bath at a specific temperature. This method of cooking can be used for various kinds of foods, from steaks to vegetables.

DECONSTRUCTION

Deconstruction is nothing but breaking down the elements of a dish to reconstruct it and give it a better presentation. The dish that is reconstructed usually contains various components that are arranged together to provide a unique appearance when served. Any kind of dessert or appetizer can be decorated using this technique.

CONVERTING LIQUIDS TO POWDER

This is a process where the high-fat liquids are transferred into powder form using maltodextrin (a starch-like substance). Using this method, you can convert Nutella, caramel, bacon, peanut butter, or any other foods into powder.

EDIBLE PAPER

The edible paper I usually made with potato starch and soybean. The edible paper can be added to any dish to enhance the look. Different ingredients like vanilla and cinnamon can be infused into an edible paper to add color or paper.

SMOKING

Smoke can be added to any cocktail, juice, dessert by using a smoke gun. This creates an attractive presentation when the smoke leave is added to the dish.

FLASH FREEZING

Foods can be frozen immediately by using liquid nitrogen. This technique does not create large ice crystals and preserves the texture of the food. Using liquid nitrogen, you can make an attractive garnish for your dish and drinks.

TOOLS REQUIRED

  • Liquid nitrogen for flash freezing and shattering
  • Anti-griddle (chilled metal top) for chilling and freezing
  • Well-controlled water bath for carrying out Sous vide
  • Food dehydrator
  • Centrifuge
  • Syringe for injecting fillings
  • Ultrasound
  • Vacuum machine
  • Pressure cooker
  • Ph meters
  • Tabletop distilleries

Molecular gastronomy techniques require different kinds of unusual ingredients, which makes the dishes unique. Some of them are:

  • Methylcellulose (gelling agent)
  • Sugar substitutes
  • Soy lecithin, Xanthan gum (emulsifiers)
  • Non-stick agents
  • Enzymes like transglutaminase (protein binder)
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Hydrocolloids like starch, gelatin, pectin, and neutral gums (used for almost all the above techniques)

The commonly asked question about molecular gastronomy is if it is a safe procedure or not. Techniques of molecular gastronomy are usually considered safe when the produced dishes are consumed in moderation. However, the safety of these techniques also depends on the ingredients or chemicals used and the quantity of their usage. Ingredients like liquid nitrogen fumes, xanthan gums, calcium salt and etc., require concern and supervision as an excessive amount of these can be harmful and dangerous. Thus, while using the above-mentioned ingredients, you have to be conscious.