pH A measure of the Acidity of a solution. The scale ranges from pH1 to pH1.
Neutral solutions have a pH7. Acidic solution have a pH below 7 and Basic alkaline solution
have a pH above pH7.
Addition of acidity & changing the PH to elements of a dish helps with many thing:-
Sosa Ascorbic acid lowers the ph interfering with enzymes that make food go brown, Preserving colour in fruit, Tip to add to Fruit crisps, fruit salad, juices & foams.
Acid enhances the flavour just like addition of salt, acid is a type of seasoning. So adding acidic elements to a dish is important to create the correct balance within a dish savoury or sweet. (Here are a few examples of Simple acids commonly used every day: Vinegars for salad dressings, juice from Lemon, Lime, yuzu, grapefruit are also commonly used. A selection of raw fruit also give crisp acidic sharpness: Granny smith apple, citrus fruit & raspberry.
As a pastry chef I spent years struggling working with some fresh fruit elements as fruit becoming more ripe & the seasons change the pH changes. Now with a little time on my hands I have done lots of reading, spoken to a few chefs & tried a few tests to try make my life & other more easy.
The pH. value will affect some setting agents and also prevent spherification from working. Acid solutions will either not set or brake down with time when using: gelatine, agar agar, powdered vegetable gelling agent & pectin. Making elements such as Jelly, gels, pate de fruit, foams an inconstant, time consuming expensive nightmare.
The pH. level also helps with emulsion in Production of cheese spreads, hot Cheese sauce & fondue, If the cheese splits the ph. is higher than required this can be adjusted with Sodium Citric. See Modernist cuisine for ph table on this.
Commercial chocolates are also tested to help extend the shelf life. For further info on the shelf life of chocolate my best point of reference would to go on Barry callebaut Science of chocolate run by Dirk De Clercq.
To help control the acidity in food Sosa do a PH kit containing litmus papers & sodium citrate to help neutralise the acidity. See photos below to see a few litmus tests. The paper tests are then held against a chart to indicate the PH. This can then be adjusted with the sodium citrate all of which is present in the kit.
An alternative to litmus paper tests is a more accurate approach is to use a PH meter. Simply dip your pH meter into the buffer solution provided then into the liquid you are trying to set, this will give you a reading. PH4 is Functional for Gelling agents & spherisfication. Anything less is acidic and will need adjusting. Please note addition of too much sodium citrate (comes in the Sosa PH KIT) will start to affect the taste This is why I am not neutralizing completely to pH7 . A Pocket pH meter is available from the home chocolate factory Call now to take advantage of the Promotion 10% off Tel: 020 8450 1523
litmus paper tests used on Sosa GEling agents class
litmus paper solution tests
lemon litmus paper test
pH indicator chart
pH Kit Sosa
Sosa pH Kit info
pocket pH meter available from HCF
Part of my research I spoke with Tim Allen, Head chef at Launceston Place in Kensington. Who I knew was using a PH meter from a previous conversation. Quote “Acidity in food will be different throughout the season which may cause setting issues. Even if not using sodium citric its a good idea test regularly and change variety of fruit or change the dish when acidity changes drastically saving money on making a product every day. Also noted you get what you pay for using good quality products often are less acidic.”
I have devised this table as a very rough guide I normally use to help with neutralizing acid
to a functional state for gelling & spherification
|PH Level of liquid you want to set
||Sodium Citrate amount to adjust to a PH4 functional
||2.7g per 100g
||0.85g per 100g
||0.3 per 100g
||0.1 per 100g
||Functional / neutral enough for gelling
Making Lime jelly at midsummer house used to drive me nuts the jelly would set different every time, Food needs to be consistent to serve good food. So First thing I ran test on was Lime jelly, Please note the Lime juice will be different pH & need adjusting every time using the table above. I made up two jelly one with the addition of sodium citrate one without.
Lime jelly – testing ph
- 50g sugar
- 75g lime juice passed (aprox ph 2.6 added 2g of sodium citrate ph Kit)
- 100g water
- 12g Sosa Vegetable powdered gelling agent (Veggi Gel)
- Mix all the ingredients together except the viggi gel & test with PH strips or the PH meter.
- The pH was Approx. 2.6 so I added 2g sodium citrate
- Add the veggi gel & sodium citrate & Whisk to the boil
- Set in a tray lightly sprayed with oil then slice/ dice.
The results was outstanding! the jelly containing the sodium citrate was firmer than the one without. By the end of the day the jelly without the addition was starting to brake down & by day two it was a semi gel. Where as the jelly with sodium citrate was still firm.
There are other ways to help prevent jelly from leaking but non as successful as testing the pH. Using the base recipe above boiling in 1 leaf of gelatine or 1g Sosa Gelespessa will create synergy (combining 2 gels together create a stronger gel, like a group of men forming an army).
Pectin – there are several different pectin’s on the market some require acid some don’t so check with product guidelines before you start. As a rule for making jams & marmalade the pH should be in the range of 3.0-3.2 this is why most recipes have the addition of Citric acid or sodium citrate or lemon juice at the end. Basic jam recipe/video using Sosa fruit pectin NH.
Basic pate de fruit using Sosa fruit Pectin NH
I will add a chart for Pate de fruit using Boiron puree the chart contains the amount of acid to add as the pH in the puree is checked. If you use fresh fruit you will need to check the pH levels your self.
Other uses of Acidity & pH in Food & Drink
Bars often use lemon juice & egg whites to regulate the acidity in cocktails.
A Little fun to be had is using Sosa Moving Colours – The moving colour range is not in our core range in the uk but we can order in special for you if its something you want to have a play around with. They will take about a week to Ship over from Spain.
Sosa Moving Colours Ph colour spectrum
There are 3 products in the moving colours range: Sosa Lombarda, Sosa Sambuca & Sosa Dracula they all work in exactly the same way they are just different base colours. Please see the photo to show the colour spectrum range of each of these products with the order product code. Looking at the spectrum chart the colour of your juice, drink will depend on the ph of your drink. This colour will then change if the ph is adjusted. either way.
Experiment using Sosa Lamarda to help explain a little better.
- Picture one: There is only water in the cups. I am just about to add the Lamdada food colour
- Picture Two: Water plus Lambarda food colour giving a deep purple.
- Picture Tree: This now changes colour depending on acidity change.
Left: RED = Water + Lambarda + Lemon juice
Right: Blue = Water + Lambarda + Egg white
Picture 1. water adding the lambada
Picture 2. Lambarda colour now mixed with water only
Picture 3.Left cup colour with the addition of lemon juice. right cup with the addition of egg white
This could create an amazing showmanship in a drink or a fruit soup made up or poured in front of the customer.
Mixologist Miguel Midori has kindly offered to send me a Drink/cocktail recipe using the pH concept. This will be added ASAP I only just asked him. Miguel is now running Molecular mixology courser both basic & advanced if you are interested please Contact me. Michelle@homechocolatefactory.com
Sosa pH Kits & Pocket pH meters are available from the Home chocolate factory call 020 8450 1523 to place an order.
Here is a list of uk Sosa distributors