• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

porpoise_oil

Calcium Lactate vs. Calcium Lactate Gluconate

9 posts in this topic

I've recently started experimenting with spherification, and particularly reverse spherification.

I bought calcium lactate and was initially just using this when I was doing reverse spherification, but when I went to my local supplies store recently they suggested I get calcium lactate gluconate as well - although they were a bit vague on why I'd use this in preference to calcium lactate, saying only that it was "better".

Would anyone mind telling me what the 'gluconate' bit adds or changes to calcium lactate? Is there a rule about when I would use one over the other?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Cooking Issues Hydrocolloids Primer:

Different recipes specify the use of different calcium salts. The three most common are calcium chloride, calcium lactate, and calcium lactate gluconate. Calcium chloride is 36% calcium, is inexpensive, and is very soluble in water, but has a terrible taste. Calcium lactate is 13% calcium, is more expensive, and is not nearly as soluble as calcium chloride, but it tastes much better. Calcium lactate gluconate, or calcium gluconate, is only 9% calcium, is much more expensive than the others, and is not very soluble—it needs to be dissolved in hot water, but is flavorless. In recipes, calcium chloride baths are usually between 0.8 – 1.5%. Calcium lactate and calcium gluconate are usually used in quantities between 2–5%.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The lactate-gluconate is pretty much undetectable taste-wise, the lactate slightly less so but still infinitely better than calcium chloride (which is absolutely horrible). Other than that, in some cases you may need to use a little more lactate-gluconate as it contains less calcium by volume than lactate. I've rarely found that necessary in real-world use though. Usually you can 1:1 lactate and lactate-gluconate. There will be very few (if any) cases where you will notice the difference taste-wise in actual use so I would disagree that you actually "need" both. If you're uncomfortable with having to make an adjustment and/or will be extremely disappointed over failures if something happens to not 1:1, having both means you can just exactly follow established and tested recipes designed for either.

Edit: should have known the CI guys would already have it covered... good find Chris!


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting - I was wondering the same thing a few months ago and googled around to find an answer. I made some notes that the combination of calcium lactate and calcium gluconate is especially soluble, which is the opposite of what the CI text listed above says. I wish I made a note of where I read it, so I can compare sources. Unless it was referring to solution clarity, rather than solubility. If calcium lactate gluconate makes a clearer (ie more transparent) solution then I can see why it would be preferred for spherification. So now I'm wondering why one source is saying the calcium lactate gluconate is especially soluble, while another says it isn't...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much for all the information!

ChrisZ - I came across the exact same information about CLG being more soluble than CL. I saw it in this post on the eGullet forums: http://egullet.org/p1520456. It lists this PDF as one of its sources: http://www.jungbunzl...onate_Aug02.pdf.

That PDF states:

CLG has the highest solubility of all commonly used calcium salts

This seems (from my understanding anyway) to contradict the Cooking Issues Hydrocolloid Primer that Chris Hennes linked to above. However I haven't read either in full yet - tonight's job!

Also, for what it's worth, the cost difference between the two was negligible when I bought it - it worked out to be AUD$0.01/g more expensive for CLG than CL.

So I'd be curious to know which is correct too - I now have both CL and CLG so I might just try running a little experiment myself to see which seems to be more soluble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned yesterday that CLG is used in many drink formulations for weight loss, weight gain, protein drinks, and etc. A friend of a neighbor used to own a body-building supplement company and CLG was incorporated into their various mixes because it remains in solution and helps other mineral salts to also remain in solution instead of rapidly precipitating out after being liquidized in COLD liquids.

He says it is especially effective in liquids that contain a significant amount of acid (fruit juices) where other calcium salts will not only precipitate out but will actually clump in the presence of acid and also with certain proteins and fats.

The subject came up because I was showing the forum to some of my neighbor's guests on an iPad and this guy saw the topic title.

He also said that it is also often combined with magnesium because the combination has a higher absorption rate - to replenish electrolytes - than the minerals alone.

He's not a chemist but has a degree in physiology and studied the activity of minerals etc., in the body. I think he is going to join the forum as the list of topics sounded interesting.

I realize this doesn't answer your specific questions but I learned something and thought you might find it somewhat interesting.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Everyone.. my 1st post..

Its very hard to get these ingredients in Hong Kong so I'm actually having these ordered on Amazon and getting my friend to help me bring these back.. so, I'm trying to buy as least as possible too keep his free couriering services indefinite, thus i need your experiences in helping me get the correct ingredients for Spherification.

from what i have read and deduced (from www.molecularrecipes.com):

Calcium Chloride is for Basic Spherification, and does not taste so good.

Calcium Lactate less bitter and dissovles in Fat. and used in Reverse Spherification

Calcium Lactate Gluconate, for high Acid, no tastes, alcohol and fats are good.... Reverse Spherification..

So, my questions are:

#1, can Calcium Lactate Gluconate be use for both Reverse AND Basic Spherification?

#2 If CLG is can be used for Basic Spherification, i would only need the one calcium - CLG ?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Short answer is yes, just the CLG will cover all jobs including the standard spherification. The slightly longer answer is that it may require a little experimenting on your part when substituting in a recipe based on one of the other options. Also, unless it's just in the interest of following a recipe exactly, there's no benefit to even using the standard spherification. I don't do much of it anymore, for me it was more about wanting to learn how than actually having much actual use for it, but I pretty much adapted all of the recipes I was doing to the "reverse" method.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      The NY Times has a current article in the science section "A Universe of Bubbles in Every Champagne Bottle".
       
      The article asserts that it is better to serve Champagne at warmer than refrigerator temperatures so that the bubbles are larger and convey more flavor.  Also to serve in a narrow glass.
       
      However Gerard Liger-Belair (who is referenced as an authority in the Times article) points out in his book Uncorked (forward by Herve This) that the colder the wine the more viscous and the more dissolved CO2.  Liger-Belair also prefers a goblet to a flute.  I bought Uncorked after reading about it in Liquid Intelligence from Dave Arnold.
       
      Discuss.
       
    • By weedy
      I made a Gellan based fluid gel that I think is 'too thick'.
      (One could say, I'd like more fluid and less gel!)
       
      Anyone know what the best way, if any?,there is to thin it so I can squeeze bottle it? at the moment it's spoonable but way thick.
       
      Could I add water and blender it again?
      or is there another idea?
       
      thanks in advance.
       
       
    • By Gary Burns
      Hello,
       
      This is my first post here -- apologies if I'm making any mistakes on protocol -- I have spent some time checking prior posts but this seemed the best place to jump in.
       
      I have a 13lb skin-on, loin attached pork belly I'm going to cook for Christmas dinner. Coincidentally I also have an Anova sous vide circulation heater and a new plastic tub with a lid.
       
      The recipes I've saw mostly call for seasoning, a water bath for 36 hours and then a deep or pan fry to crisp. Now I have the setup, and look at the combination of the roast and the container I realize I have some questions about what I'm doing -- I've attached a picture below of what we're starting off with. 
       
      Here are those questions:
       
      The fit seems a little tight to me -- is the container size fine? I was planning on seasoning, tying and double bagging it in large ziploc bringing bags ( water displacement, no vacuum sealer ). I've convinced myself the ziplock method is fine, but is standing the meat vertically in a space close to it's dimension for a 36 hour cook ok? After the 36 hours in water, it is Ok to refrigerate? The main recipe I've been using as a base calls for removing it, shocking it and then removing the liquids for sauce before deep frying -- would it be ok to shock, refrigerate for several hours, then bring to temperature in the bath again before proceeding with browning/bringing to temp? If this isn't a bad idea, how long would you keep in the water bath after refrigeration? Deep frying vs. a quick hot oven? I'll rub baking soda on this, and I'll fry if need be -- but does anyone have experience or thoughts on whether you'd be defeating the purpose of using sous vide in the first place if you just used a suitably hot oven to crisp the skin after cooking sous vide and drying the skin beforehand? I'd prefer not to to do an inside stove top fry for something this large right before dinner if it wasn't sacrificing too much.    
      Thanks for any help, would also be great to hear any other useful advice from anyone that's went through a similar process.
       
      Gary
       

    • By pmilas
      HI guys,
       
      I'm here for a bit of advice. We are building a house (in Croatia, Europe), and finally have a chance to build a kitchen as i want it
      We would like to get a professional combi oven, something like this new Rational (a bit pricey) or this UNOX (better price) so that we have a long term solution for our needs.
      The reason we are going for the professional oven is that, for example UNOX, is cheaper than "home combi ovens" from brands like Miele, Gaggenau, etc. and are much better than those.
       
      Does anyone have any experience with pro combis at home? i have only seen a couple of people, at least on the internet, that have them at home. I guess that setup would not be a problem, because we designed a water inlet and outlet for the oven, and the voltage is OK. is there anything we didnt think of? Will that oven have higher maintananace cost, even if its used only couple of days a week?
       
      Thanks for help
       
      P
    • By TdeV
      When do you start counting the time in sous vide cooking?
      - when you first put the plastic bag into the heated water? Or,
      - when the heated water comes back to the desired temperature?
       
      I have a 7 quart slow cooker with an Auber instruments controller. There is nothing to circulate the water, but it has never proved to be a problem for me before.
       
      Sous vide fish is a new activity for me. After much research I planned 119F for 20 minutes, though in future I'll try one degree lower each time.
       
      My first experiment was salmon tail and it was the most delightful salmon I have ever eaten. Water heated to 119F. Added marinaded fish in a ziplock-type bag which had been removed from the fridge not long before, and I used the sous vide water to push the air out of the ziplock bag. Temp dropped enormously (but I don't recall exactly) and it took 15-20 minutes to get back up to 119F. Then I cooked for 20 further minutes.
       
      Second experiment was salmon tail and it was as boring as I usually find salmon. I took the marinaded fish out of the fridge 1 hour or 1 1/2 hour before it went into the sous vide pot. I used lukewarm water in bowl in sink to remove air from ziplock. When the fish was dropped in, the temp dropped to 113F. I was not as anxious watching the temp rise this time, so I didn't check it every few minutes. Somehow the water got up to 124F.
       
      In both these cases I used a soup bowl in the sous vide pot to hold the fish under water.
       
      So, short of buying some new sous vide equipment, could you advise me about things I could do to minimize the temperature drop and maximize my control over the fish.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.