When a solution containing sodium alginate is dripped into a calcium lactate bath, calcium ions react with alginate molecules by allowing them to align and bind so that a thin gel membrane forms around the droplets. The gelification process that forms the membrane will stop the moment the sphere is rinsed, as its interior will be free of alginate molecules.
THE SOLUTION TO BE TRANSFORMED
Prepare about 2 cups of a solution to be spherified. The ingredient chosen must be very tasty, as the solution will lose some of its flavor when the sodium alginate is incorporated to it. An ingredient with high acidity will prevent the spherification process from being completed.
Warning : Any percentage of calcium in the ingredient will prevent the spherification process from being completed. The use of demineralized water is recommended, as tap water with a high calcium percentage could cause the sodium alginate solution to gelify.
SERVING AND PRESERVATION
For an optimal burst-in-the-mouth effect, serve within 15 minutes. Store the caviar in its original solution for a maximum of 12 hours before serving. The caviar will be completely congealed, but it should remain very tasty! The caviar can also be
left to macerate in any other tasty solution to change its taste and color.
The interior of a caviar that is being exposed to calcium ions for too long will eventually end up completely congealed.
On the other hand, too short an exposition to calcium ions will cause the caviar’s membrane to be too fragile and ultimately unable to maintain its shape.