Glycerin flakes are a great surfactant emulsifier to integrate a watery solution into a fatty solution and to thicken oils. Glycerin flakes are used in molecular gastronomy to create oil foams, olive oil butter, vinaigrette and other preparations which combine both oil and water. Since glycerin flakes are an emulsifier similar to oil, they cannot be dissolved in water. Glycerin Flakes need to be dissolved in a fatty medium first and then they can me mixed with the watery medium to obtain a smooth and perfect emulsion. With glycerin flakes you can easily create new textures and presentations that will surprise your diners with very little effort.
Glycerin Flakes Origin
Glycerin flakes are a powerful surfactant emulsifier composed of monoglyceride and diglyceride derived from the fats obtained from glycerin and fatty acids. Despite the name, it does not actually contain any glycerin. Glycerin flakes are a fatty acid ester, indissoluble in water.
Glycerin Flakes Function
Glycerin Flakes are used in molecular gastronomy to emulsify water and oil, as well as to thicken oil to make foams and "butter".
Glycerin Flakes Applications
With glycerin flakes you can make a light and velvety oil foam using an iSi Whip. A classic recipe is the olive oil foam but you can also make a wide variety of foams using nut oils such as peanut or hazelnut, sesame oil, flavored oils, rendered fat from bacon, chicken, Parmesan cheese or you can also make your own infused oil such as the miso oil foam in "Clear Canapé – Asparagus, Miso Foam, Malt Crumble" shown below.
Glycerin flakes are also great to make a healthy olive oil butter with a unique flavor. Below is the "Olive Oil “Butter” and Balsamic Vinegar Gel" recipe from Chef Michael Elfwing.
And as we explained previously, a great application of glycerin flakes is to create an emulsification of oil and water such as in this black olive emulsion made with black olive water and black olive fat. Below are the Mango and Black Olive Discs with the glycerin flakes emulsion.
View all Glycerin Flakes Recipes
How to Use Glycerin Flakes
Concentration Range: 0.5-3.5%. For oil foams with iSi Whip use 3.5%.
As an emulsifier which is similar to oil, glycerin flakes cannot be added directly to water. Glycerin flakes are a fatty acid ester, indissoluble in water. Due to this, glycerin flakes must first be dissolved in oil heated to 60°C (140°F) before being added to water. The oil/glycerin mixture added to a watery medium must be integrated slowly for the emulsion to work.