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Sodium Alginate Edible
Edible dessert jellies can be formed from alginate-calcium mixtures, often promoted as instant jellies or desserts because they are formed simply by mixing the powders with water or milk, no heat being required. Because they do not melt, alginate jellies have a different, firmer mouth feel when compared to gelatin jellies, which can be made to soften and melt at body temperature. Mixtures of calcium salts and sodium alginate can be made to set to a gel at different rates, depending on the rate at which the calcium salt dissolves. Gel formation can also be delayed even after everything is mixed together; this is done using a gel-retarder that reacts with the calcium before the alginate does, so no calcium is available to the alginate until all the retarder is used. In this way gel formation can be delayed for several minutes if desired, such as when other ingredients need to be added and mixed before the gel starts to set.