Clarifications with centrifuge and pectinases
We continue working with the CentriCook centrifuge for cooking and cocktail making, one of our latest developments in molecular cuisine. . Last week we held a meeting with our friends from Gastrocultura Mediterránea. A gastronomy research and divulgation company that, among others, uses a family of enzymes very useful to work, among other applications, with fermentations or clarifications.
During the day, we did several experiments with CentriCook and the use of enzymes, comparing the results of fruit juices and pulps with and without pectinase.
What are enzymes
They are proteins of natural origin that modify the texture and flavour of the food with which they come into contact. Most have been generated by fermentation of natural products of plant origin, or even extracted directly from fruits or vegetables.
What is pectinase
Pectinase is an enzyme that degrades the pectin chains in some fruits and vegetables, softening them and giving them a cooked texture, but without cooking.
This can help to clarify some products by itself without the help of a centrifuge, although the effect is increased when combined with the effect of a centrifuge.
Results of the use of enzymes in plant products
In vegetable products with a high pectin content, the liquefied products are much more transparent.
In vegetable products without a significant amount of pectin, a higher utilisation of the liquefied product is obtained due to a reduction of the generated shrinkage.
Important points to highlight
If you compare an extremely clarified product with a less transparent one, the taste result is generally in favour of the less treated one.
More filtered (clarified) product → More crystalline and less intense taste.
Methods to improve product performance
The use of a centrifuge such as CentriCook speeds up the process considerably, allowing 1 litre to be clarified in 10 minutes.
The product “Pectinäse“, which contains the pectinase enzyme in powder form, accelerates the pectin degradation process, significantly increasing the utilisation of the vegetables and reducing the working time. It also ends up concentrating more of the essence with a silky, almost impalpable texture (the pomade). This pomade is usually a very popular ingredient among chefs. At the top is the clarified juice, which is very useful in cocktails to obtain clarified cocktails without floating particles.
Clean the food thoroughly, weigh and chop it into small pieces and sprinkle and mix in the pectinase (some foods go through a blender). Vacuum pack, leave for 2-4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge until you can see that the product has liquefied.
Pass the product through a “Slow Juicer“ or pressure centrifuge to extract the maximum juice. Place 250 grams of pulp or juice in each container and centrifuge in CentriCook at 4000 RPM for 10 minutes. Remove the juice by passing it through a 50 or 100 micron Claribag and store in the refrigerator. Always clarify when cold, as the product keeps better as it does not heat up.
The most common is to use 5% of the weight of the product to be treated.
It works from cold to 60ºC. Although the optimum temperature (where you get the result in less time) is 45ºC, if we keep it cold it will need more time to act, but we will have a cleaner result.
List of fruits and vegetables containing pectin
Vegetables rich in pectin: Apples – Lemons – Limes – Oranges – Currants – Plums – Grapes – Quince – Carrots – Tomatoes – Peas – Olives – Apricots – Endrin – Kiwi.
Medium pectin vegetables: Very ripe apples – Grapefruit – Figs – Pineapples – Pumpkin – Watermelon – Cantaloupe melon – Papaya – Potato – Guava – Blackberries – Plantain – Rosewood.
Low pectin vegetables: Peaches – Nectarine – Strawberries – Raspberries – Blueberries – Celery – Legume pods – Cherries – Mango – Pears – Courgette – Cauliflower.
Leaves low in pectin: Tarragon – Parsley – Basil – Kale.
These are the questions we asked Gastrocultura Mediterránea’s Product Technician, Marc Jordana, after the working day, and these are his answers.
Once the juice has been extracted from the food, does the pectinase continue to act, albeit at a lower rate?
Some of it continues to act, but as it has already dissolved practically all the accessible pectin, its effect is almost imperceptible.
Is the remaining pectin trapped in the solid part that we extract?
As these are macro-fibres and therefore very large molecules, most of it will be trapped in the part we extract.
If some pectinase remains in the clarified juice, how will it affect it? Will it continue to clarify? Until when?
On the one hand, if some pectin remains, the remaining diluted pectinase will continue to act until the remaining pectin is broken down. On the other hand, enzymes do not affect our health at all and it is completely safe to drink the clarified product, even if the enzyme continues to work.
Pectinase behaves as an acidulant so this surely prevents the oxidation effect, is there any other property such as preserving the product longer without spoilage?
Pectinase, by breaking down the pectin, releases galacturonic acid (which is what pectin is made of). This acid has antioxidant properties, so the food takes longer to oxidise (similar to the acid present in Kombuchas) and as it degrades less, it is a preservation effect.
Does the lack of oxygen in the container delay the action of the enzyme?
The enzyme does not ferment when it acts with the food, but generates chemical reactions, so it is not affected by the amount of oxygen in the environment.
We also leave you the link to the manufacturer of these enzymes so that you can have more information: www.toufood.com