Today is the coolest food chemistry experiment ever. We turned juice into a solid gummy noodle-y string! We like food-related experiments! (Check out a couple of my others: Cake Chemistry, Rock Candy Geodes, Cake Chemistry)
I came across an experiment a while back that turns juice into spheres (little balls) and I really wanted to try it out. These juice spheres are made in fancy restaurants all the time. They look like little caviar balls.
I bought the supplies and several kinds of juice and got it all ready to go. The only problem is that I do not have a food scale. The measurements were all in weight (since it is chemistry) instead of the typical food measurements that I use. So, I eyeballed it. It might not have been the smartest thing, but it’s what I did.
Well, this experiment did NOT turn out the way it did in the instructions I saw, but it was pretty amazing, just the same. My kids even called it “EPIC”. Instead of turning into spheres, as you see, it turned into long strings. We tried to coin a name for it: Juicetti, or Judles, but none of them seemed just right. Any ideas?
Food Chemistry: How to Turn Juice into a Solid
You will need a few specialized ingredients, that I could only find online: Sodium Alginate and Calcium Chloride. If you want to get high tech, they have special (and super awesome) spherification tools you can buy, too. We stuck to a regular syringe.
Tools & Supplies:
Sodium Alginate (gelling agent)
Small Hand-Held Strainer
To start, measure out 1 c. of juice. I used 3 different kinds to add some color variety in our experiment. Mix 1 tsp of sodium alginate into the juice. Blend it in a blender to remove any lumps. It will start to thicken. Let it rest for at least an hour to let the bubbles escape.
After the juice and alginate mixture has rested for a time, it is time to make the juicy noodles. You will need a large pan full of water mixed with the calcium chloride. I mixed in a teaspoon or two of the calcium in the water. You will also want another bowl of fresh, plain water that you can use to rinse the noodles when they are done.
Using a syringe, collect the juice mixture and squirt it into the calcium-water solution. In the presence of calcium, the sodium alginate forms into a gel.
This is where it was supposed to be droplets, but ours came out in long strings (probably due to my inaccurate measurements).
Remove them from the pan and rinse in the fresh water.
My kids did not seem to mind the fact that they were strings instead of balls.
Then we just placed them on a plate and the kids ate them. They tasted just like gummies and my kids LOVED them! I am not certain how long they would last, but if you refrigerate them, I think they would last a few days.