Agar Agar Day #1

Hydrocolloids are just too cool for school. Also their usefulness for 3D food printing is just too obvious to overlook it 🙂

Agar Agar day #1

Agar Agar day #1

More??

This time we turn our learning process towards agar agar.  Agar Agar is a natural starch extract from a red seaweed. It is easy to find/buy. And easy to test.

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Recommended percentage go from 0.5 to 2%.

For our tests we used 111gr of water and 1.87gr of agar agar.

First we dispersed the agar agar into cold water, to avoid clumps later, stirring it. Later we bring it to a boil.

After that is just a matter of cool it down until it forms a gel.

The result is a brittle but strong gel. It took around 20minutes to set at 18ÂșC room temperature. Pumping it with a syringe into small dots sets it pretty fast (less than a minute). And that just means one thing. It is perfect for printing purposes.

But….. there is always a but. Agar starts to set below 32-43ÂșC. That does not give a lot of room to handle the food and print it. So a heated system is preferred.

Good or bad, depending on your printing method, agar is quite fluid before setting. This makes it harder to control with air compressed (our system has problem handling under 1psi pressure), but maybe easier for a peristaltic pump.

Conclusion

Setting time is fast, what is extremely good, but requires a heating system to avoid clogging the nozzle.

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