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Weird chemical reaction with dressing


thebaker
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Hello

I hope this is the right place for this but I have had a very weird thing happen to a dressing I make at work, when left at room temp for more than a day it becomes rock solid..

the dressing started out with the following

water, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic confit, olive oil. it is then blended and we keep it at room temp it stays liquid.

we decided to add a twist of flavor for a special and add some truffle oil, the next night the dressing was like a rock... we could not even boil the bottle to get it out so we made it again and it happend again.... we cannot fiqure out what the heck happend...

any clues........

Edited by thebaker (log)

I bake there for I am....

Make food ... not war

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I hope this is the right place for this but I have had a very weird thing happen to a dressing I make at work, when left at room temp for more than a day it becomes rock solid..

Sure... it's a fine question.

How much honey? Honey can harden, right? Usually not at room temp I suppose, but I'm reaching here. :raz:

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I don't know the proportions of your ingredients but I doubt that what you are seeing is coming from anything growing. You said it was a dressing but I didn't see an acid. Again, depending upon the final concentrations of sugars and salt (soy sauce) I would doubt that this would support much in the way of biological activity.

The clue is probably in the truffle oil since that seems to be the only variable. Whatever the reaction is, it almost sounds like a chemical crosslinking of some of the components, perhaps "catalyzed" (loose use of that word) by something in the truffle oil. I say this because you indicated that heating it up did not change the consistency. That makes behavior of the mystery substance sound like what is called a thermoset material.

thermoset = a crosslinked polymer that once the crosslinking is accomplished, is irreversable, epoxies and resins used in fiberglass are like this

thermoplastic = a plastic that changes consistency in response to heat for instance, polyethylene for instance, can be melted, solidified and remelted, sort of like your solidifying honey

Those are probably not the best or most precise descriptions 'cause I am too lazy after all that turkey to look them up. :laugh:

I always thought truffles were a bit suspicious. They smell like acetonitrile to me. :blink:

Any other SSBs out there have any ideas? This is a fascinating question. Inquiring minds want to know.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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The first thing that occured to me when I read the word sesame, was whether there was honey too. Two words later was honey. Yes, I can think that quickly, time to time. I know honey mixed with sesame seeds causes this hardening reaction, which is how we get lucious halvah, so maybe the same reaction occurs with the oil.

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The first thing that occured to me when I read the word sesame, was whether there was honey too. Two words later was honey. Yes, I can think that quickly, time to time. I know honey mixed with sesame seeds causes this hardening reaction, which is how we get lucious halvah, so maybe the same reaction occurs with the oil.

Good lord. Are you saying I might actually finally be RIGHT about one of these food chemistry questions? I've ruined my streak.

Not to steal credit of course. The halvah aspect never occured to me, just the honey part, since I've seen the honey hardening problem before (don't ask). :raz:

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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elyse may have something here. I forgot about the halvah business. (Damn! Now I am wondering what the chemistry of THAT is.) The only thing that bugs me though, is why it didn't happen until the truffle oil was added.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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For Fifi the chemist:

It was once suggested to me that most commercial truffle oils were chemically enhanced, since the compounds that give natural truffle oil its aroma break down very quickly. The chemical named was methyl mercaptan. Does that get you anywhere?

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Hello

I hope this is the right place for this but I have had a very weird thing happen to a dressing I make at work, when left at room temp for more than a day it becomes rock solid..

the dressing started out with the following

water, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic confit, olive oil. it is then blended and we keep it at room temp it stays liquid.

we decided to add a twist of flavor for a special and add some truffle oil, the next night the dressing was like a rock... we could not even boil the bottle to get it out so we made it again and it happend again.... we cannot fiqure out what the heck happend...

any clues........

I would guess that something along the lines of halvah is happening. As for how/why? Not sure. I've studied explosives, not foods. Best way to test is to leave out the sesame oil and see what occurs. If sesame oil isn't the culprit, we've got a real poser.

It could have something to do with reducing sugars in honey reacting with either mercaptan (but methyl mercaptan isn't going to cross-link a whole lot) or a free radical chain reaction.

Where did you come up with this recipe? Did it have any warnings about turning into grout?

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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The chemical named was methyl mercaptan.

Isn't that the chemical that makes your farts stink?

There are mercaptans in farts. Methyl mercaptan is the odor chemical that they put in natural gas so that it can be detected. (Natural gas is naturally odorless and you would have enough to go boom before you could tell.)

edit to add because I am too quick with the button:

Ugh. That may have something to do with it. I am still trying to find out what happens with halvah with no luck, yet. But then I haven't tried that hard. Possibly, the dressing was getting close to the "halvah reaction" but not quite there yet, then the addition of the truffle oil, and its noxious components, kind of kicked it over. (Now there is a technical term. :biggrin: ) I am reaching here but this is driving me nuts.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I just read through a bunch of recipes for Halvah, including one from a senior citizens web site that recommends it for enhancing sex. :blink:

I am not sure now that there is anything by way of a chemical reaction going on. I am seeing more of a general goopiness that comes to a halt with the addition of the sesame seeds at an amount sufficient to have the sesame seeds in enough quantity that they are touching each other so that the flow of the candy part stops. (There is a big word for that that would be useful as a replacement for that horrible run-on sentence. I can't remember it now and you probably don't care anyway. But it will drive me nuttier.) Think rice crispy treats.

So... We are back to go. Will someone please send out an SSB alert?

It might be helpful if we had more definition on the recipe for the dressing, if that can be divulged.

edit for clarification:

I am not sure now that there is anything by way of a chemical reaction going on.

With the Halvah, I mean.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Except that with Rice Krispie Treats, isn't the "glue", the marshmallow, actually being somewhat changed by the heating process and the addition of other ingredients?

The melted marshmallows aren't really changed. They just get deflated, melted, and act as glue. You aren't cooking them to any of the candy stages or anything. To get what I mean by that horrible sentence (damn, what is that word), visualize that you have a pot of melted marshmallow. You put in some rice crispies and, up to a point, it still stirs around like a liquid. As you continue to add more, you get to a point that it goes "glunk" (another technical whiz term) and you are turning it out of the pot as almost a solid. Though it is still a little pliable until the "glue" cools.

Yeah, sandra. You are right. I don't think we are any closer to solving this one.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Also part of the krispie "glue" would be the butter, which goes in melted, but then solidifies...

Yeah, that was kind of my point. The butter mixes in with the marshmallow. Of course it still needs refrigeration to set though, right? But its fairly shelf-stable after that.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I am not sure now that there is anything by way of a chemical reaction going on. I am seeing more of a general goopiness that comes to a halt with the addition of the sesame seeds at an amount sufficient to have the sesame seeds in enough quantity that they are touching each other so that the flow of the candy part stops. (There is a big word for that that would be useful as a replacement for that horrible run-on sentence. I can't remember it now and you probably don't care anyway. But it will drive me nuttier.)

Does it have anything to do with thixotropy and colloids?

This is sort of like a perverse game of charades.

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I am not sure now that there is anything by way of a chemical reaction going on. I am seeing more of a general goopiness that comes to a halt with the addition of the sesame seeds at an amount sufficient to have the sesame seeds in enough quantity that they are touching each other so that the flow of the candy part stops. (There is a big word for that that would be useful as a replacement for that horrible run-on sentence. I can't remember it now and you probably don't care anyway. But it will drive me nuttier.)

Does it have anything to do with thixotropy and colloids?

This is sort of like a perverse game of charades.

I belatedly edited that post to say that I meant there wasn't a chemical reaction going on with the Halvah. Sorry. Badly composed.

I have been thinking through the thixotropy and colloid scenarios but I don't have enough information. The other part that may not be a good fit is the fact that it went from liquid to solid, the only difference being the truffle oil, and they couldn't reverse it.

This is indeed perverse. Sometimes my curiosity drives me batty. I wish we knew the proportions of the ingredients.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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The main dressing is as follows:

1 1/2 cp water

1 1/2 cp sugar

1 1/2 cp honey

10 cloves garlic confit

3 cp sesame oil

3 cp soy sauce.

mix in bowl than in blender slowly add 4 1/2 cups veg oil ( we use canola)

this dressing is kept in the fridge (it stays pretty loose even when cold)

we keep it out during service, it lasts weeks.... until we add some truffle oil (which is not measured we just add some )

I bake there for I am....

Make food ... not war

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Hoo boy! This is weird. I don't see anything in the ingredient list or proportions that jump out at me.

Please describe the "hardened" dressing. You said earlier "like a rock". Do you mean that literally? Can you dig it out with a spoon? Does it dissolve back in oil? Water? You already said that heating it didn't change it. Does it look homogenous, as in none of the ingredients have separated?

I know that is a lot of questions. But, you have to expect that when you get an SSB riled up. :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Hoo boy! This is weird. I don't see anything in the ingredient list or proportions that jump out at me.

Please describe the "hardened" dressing. You said earlier "like a rock". Do you mean that literally? Can you dig it out with a spoon? Does it dissolve back in oil? Water? You already said that heating it didn't change it. Does it look homogenous, as in none of the ingredients have separated?

I know that is a lot of questions. But, you have to expect that when you get an SSB riled up. :laugh:

It sort of looked like the bottle had been put in the freezer and it froze up.

it sort of was like ice you could stick a knife in the top and scrape it.

it only began to break up when it was put under a stream of boiling water.. sort of what you have to do to get off hard sugar..

I bake there for I am....

Make food ... not war

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