Texturizing agents modify textures without adding any flavour or colour, but retaining the characteristics of ingredients as much as possible.
The word “texturizing” is a gastronomic neologism that describes an ancient gastronomic phenomenon, namely changing the textures or consistencies of foods to create a particular way of eating them.
Strictly speaking, this neologism refers to new ingredients and applications adopted by the gastronomy and confectionery trades in recent years.
It is fair to say that, throughout the long history of cooking, the textures of primary ingredients have been continually developed, with examples including bread, puff pastry, pasta, sauces, creams, mousse, and so on. All culinary creations offer distinctive textures that also have an impact on flavour.
Texturizing ingredients are not actually all that new – some, in fact, are very old – but they have traditionally been little used in gastronomy.
Thanks to technological advances and an effort to “translate” them into gastronomic language, these ingredients have been slowly making their way into the industry because of the solutions they offer.
Avant-garde cuisine has accelerated this process thanks to its creative drive and the desire to discover new techniques and textures. Despite this, however, we must not lose sight of an essential fact:
Ingredients themselves, whether new or old, can be used in any type of cooking and pastry-making.
They fulfill different technical roles, including gelling, aerating, thickening, emulsifying and stabilizing, while also creating endless ways of eating food.
All these new texturizing agents share the following basic criteria, which is why they have been adopted by modern gastronomy:
- Flavour neutrality: to enhance and preserve flavours as much as possible
- Texture performance: to achieve maximum performance using minimal quantities
Mixtures of texturizing agents have also been developed whose interactions have helped to:
- Make texturizing agents easier to use
- Improve their functionality
- Apply them in specific ways