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Juice Spherification

Cool Science

overview

spherification is the culinary process of shaping liquids into spheres. hold them in your hands, poke them and watch them jiggle; then pop one into your mouth. a burst of yummy juice!

what makes this project work is the way the sodium alginate combines with calcium. the alginate can thicken and bind –– without heat –– and this happens when it is exposed to the calcium. voila, you’ve got an edible drink!

30 minutes

maker checklist

  • small bowls or cups
  • 2 large bowls
  • measuring cup + spoons
  • slotted spoon
  • immersion blender
  • water 
  • fruit juice

instructions

1

make the mixtures:

combine 1½ cups juice with ½ tsp sodium alginate, in a small bowl.

dissolve the powder alginate and blend the mixture completely. using an immersion blender works the best!

watch the mixture! it will look cloudy since it is filled with air bubbles! let it sit for 15 minutes until it looks clear.

combine 4 cups water and 2 tsp calcium lactate in
a large bowl. stir until it is completely dissolved.

2

make the juice spheres:

using a dropper or a pipette, drop your sodium alginate + juice mixture into your calcium lactate + water bath.

let set for 3–4 minutes without touching the spheres; the longer
they sit in the water bath, the more solid they will become.

gently move the spheres from the calcium lactate mixture into the large bowl filled with clean water (use a slotted spoon for this). this rinse will stop the reaction.

3

eat a drink! carefully lift your juice beads out of the water rinse, and pop one into your mouth… squish!