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Mono and Diglycerides

How to use mono diglycerides
Need to thicken, stabilize or foam an oil? Mono and diglyceride flakes are the modernist ingredient to turn to!

Mono and diglyceride flakes are a common modernist ingredient used to stabilize emulsions and to thicken or foam oils. Unlike many ingredients, they have to be dissolved in oil not water.

Table of Contents

What are Mono and Diglycerides Used For?Top

Chile pepper oil foam.jpg

Mono and diglycerides are commonly used to stabilize emulsions and to thicken or foam oils.

They are also important in preventing breads and baked goods from crumbling or going stale. In making ice cream it gives it a softer consistency, and in chocolate and confectionery products it prevents fat from crystallizing.

In addition, Mono and diglycerides are found in a wide variety of commercial foods including pasta mixes, potato chips, most packaged desserts, salad dressings, margarines and other spreads.

Where to Buy Mono and Diglycerides?Top

Mono diglyceride flakes

Mono and diglycerides can be purchased many different places, but we always recommend ModernistPantry.com, they have great service and are really good to work with (because of this, we do have an affiliate relationship with them).

What are Mono and Diglycerides?Top

Monoglyceride and diglyceride are the substance that helps keep the oil component from separating from the water portion of a food product. When reading or researching them further, you will find them commonly refer to as "high stability emulsifiers". They are made by removing the fats of glycerin and fatty acids. Despite commonly being called "glycerin flakes", they do not actually contain any glycerin.

Rosemary oil2

Mono and diglyceride are able to mix fat-based and water-based ingredients together because of their unique molecular structure - one end is drawn to water and the opposite end is attracted to oil. This combination makes the solution more stable by helping the oil droplets stay disbursed in the water for a longer time.

The types of foods that benefit from incorporating this emulsifier into them are peanut butter, coffee creamers, margarine, salad dressing and mayonnaise. In baked goods they lengthen the shelf life of fresh tasting baked goods by preventing the loss of water from starches.

How Do You Add Mono and Diglycerides To a Liquid?Top

Unlike many ingredients, mono and diglycerides have to be dissolved in oil, not water.

To disperse the mono and diglycerides you want to add them to oil and then heat it to above 140°F (60°C), as they melt they can easily be stirred in. For them to take effect, they need to be cooled to at least room temperature, or ideally in the refrigerator.

How Much Mono and Diglycerides to Use?Top

Mustard infused oil swordfish herb salad overhead

The amount of monoglycerides and diglycerides to use depends on the desired texture and type of end product you are making.

When used for emulsifying, ratios of 0.5% to 2% monoglycerides and diglycerides are typical. For both a thickening and foaming application the ratios of 2% to 10% are most often used.

Note: See How to Measure Modernist Ingredients for more information on ratios.

How to Thicken Mono and Diglycerides?Top

In a pan on the stove, heat the oil to above 140°F (60°C). Once the oil is hot, whisk the mono and diglycerides into it until they are melted. In order for the mono and diglycerides to take effect in the oil, the mixture needs to be cooled to at least room temperature, or ideally in the refrigerator.

When thickening oil with Mono and Diglycerides, a 2.0% to 10% ratio range is the normal.

Learn more about thickening techniques, or how to measure modernist ingredients for more information on ratios.

How to Create an Oil Foam with Mono and Diglycerides?Top

In a pan on the stove, heat the oil to above 140°F (60°C). Once the oil is hot, whisk the mono and diglycerides into it until they are melted.

In order for the mono and diglycerides to take effect in the oil, the mixture needs to be cooled to at least room temperature, or ideally in the refrigerator. After the oil mixture is cooled you can create the foam by placing it in a whipping siphon, charging it, and then dispensing it.

When foaming oil with Mono and Diglycerides, a 2.0% to 10% ratio range is the normally used.

How to Create a Sesame Oil Foam using Mono and Diglycerides

In a pan on the stove, heat 215 grams of sesame oil to above 140°F (60°C). Once the oil is hot, whisk 16 grams of mono and diglyceride flakes into it until they are melted.

Remove from the heat and let cool to at least room temperature. Pour into a heat resistant whipping siphon and charge as instructed by the manufacturer. The sesame oil foam is now ready to be dispensed. For a thicker foam, refrigerate the siphon in the refrigerator.

Examples of Mono and Diglyceride Oil Foam Recipes

View more mono and diglyceride oil foam recipes, learn more about foams and foaming techniques, or how to measure modernist ingredients for more information on ratios.

How to Stabilize Emulsions Mono and Diglycerides?Top

In a pan on the stove, heat the oil to above 140°F (60°C). Once the oil is hot, whisk the mono and diglycerides into it until they are melted. In order for the mono and diglycerides to take effect in the oil, the mixture needs to be cooled to at least room temperature, or ideally in the refrigerator.

When using mono and diglyceride to stabilize emulsions a ratio of 0.5% to 2.0% is commonly used.

Examples of Mono and Diglyceride Emulsion Recipes

View more mono and diglyceride emulsion recipes, learn more about emulsifying techniques, or how to measure modernist ingredients for more information on ratios.

Looking for More Articles?Top

Interested in more information like this?

Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Getting Started covers many of the popular modernist techniques such as gelling, spherification, and foams. It also explores modernist ingredients like agar, sodium alginate, tapioca maltodextrin, and xanthan gum.

It is all presented in an easy to understand format along with more than 80 recipes and photographs.

I might be biased but I think
it's the best way to learn about modernist cooking!

Mono and Diglycerides Recipes and Articles

Sous Vide Sea Bass with Microgreens and Mustard Oil

Mustard infused oil swordfish herb salad Sea bass is a light and flavorful fish whose taste can be easily overpowered. This recipe pairs it with a pungent mustard oil that really shines on a micro-greens salad with basil, radish, and tomato.

Sous Vide Rosemary and Sage Infused Oil

Rosemary oil This recipe focuses on the subtle flavors of the rosemary and sage by using a neutral base oil. With a sous vide machine, the infusion process is simple: combine the ingredients, heat, cool and store! What a great flavor enhancing finishing oil for fish dishes!

Chile Foam Crostini Recipe

Chile pepper oil foam This crostini recipe infuses the heat, smokiness and flavor of dried chiles into canola oil, which is then thickened into a foam. It is also a good topping for grilled meats or as a spicy spread for fresh bread. The process of infusing oil with flavors before thickening it leads to countless variations you can adapt to any dish.

White Bean Puree with Rosemary Oil Recipe

Rosemary oil2 This recipe is a great crostini topping for any party, especially if some attendees might be less adventurous eaters! It resembles a more traditional dish but it have a subtle modernist touch. Garnishing the white bean puree with lemon zest pulls in even more highlights to the food.

Glycerin Flakes

Chile pepper infused oil foam Glycerin flakes are commonly used to stabilize emulsions and to thicken or foam oils. Unlike many ingredients, they have to be dissolved in oil, not in water. They are high stability emulsifiers composed of monoglyceride and diglyceride taken from the fats of glycerin and fatty acids.