Ultra-Sperse is an all-natural starch used in the culinary world for thickening liquids into a smooth, creamy end-product.
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What is Ultra-Sperse Used For?Top
Ultra-Sperse is used in many of the same ways as xanthan gum. Ultra-Sperse is a cold water swelling starch that thickens liquids into a rich and creamy sauces without lumps. Since Ultra-Sperse has a neutral flavor itself, when used in higher concentrations it has a better mouthfeel than xanthan gum.
There are several different types of Ultra-Sperse including Ultra-Sperse A, M, and 3; all three kinds are used for similar culinary thickening applications with only minor differences. Of these, Ultra-Sperse M and Ultra-Sperse 3 are the two most commonly used in molecular gastronomy.
- Ultra-Sperse M is designed for use in low pH environments and is specifically formulated for preserving freshness as it thickens cold and frozen food products to the desired consistency.
- Ultra-Sperse 3 was developed for use in hot applications. Ultra-Sperse 3 is stable enough to handle lightly acidic foods, refrigerated storage, and some frozen situations.
- Ultra-Sperse A has excellent dispersibility characteristics and delivers high cold viscosity In the prepackaged food industry as a thickener and stabilizer in a variety of dry food mixes which are later reconstituted with water, milk or juice.
Where to Buy Ultra-Sperse?Top
You can buy
Ultra-Sperse M and Ultra-Sperse 3 in several places. However, we highly 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 is Ultra-Sperse?Top
Ultra-Sperse, a product of Ingredion Inc., is an all-natural, cold water swelling starch used in the culinary world for thickening liquids without forming lumps. Several different types of Ultra-Sperse are available, including Ultra-Sperse A, M, and 3; of these, M and 3 are the two most commonly used in molecular gastronomy.
- Ultra-Sperse M is derived from maize. It is designed for use in low pH environments and specifically formulated for preserving freshness as it thickens cold and frozen food products to the desired consistency.
- Ultra-Sperse 3 is made from tapioca and was developed for use in hot applications. Ultra-Sperse 3 is stable enough to handle lightly acidic foods, refrigerated storage, and some frozen situations.
- Ultra-Sperse A comes from waxy maize. It has excellent dispersibility characteristics and delivers high cold viscosity. In the prepackaged food industry as a thickener and stabilizer in a variety of dry food mixes which are later reconstituted with water, milk or juice.
How Do You Add Ultra-Sperse to a Liquid?Top
Ultra-Sperse can easily be added to a liquid by whisking it in, or using an immersion blender to blend it in. It mixes into both hot and cold liquids without creating lumps, and Ultra-Sperse hydrates equally well in both.
How Much Ultra-Sperse to Use?Top
When it is used as a thickening agent, the amount of Ultra-Sperse you will want to use depends on how thick you want your liquid to become. Generally a 0.2% to 5% ratio is used for most sauces. The more Ultra-Sperse you add, the thicker the liquid will become starting with a barely noticable thickening at 0.2% and leading up to a thick and glossy sauce at 5%.
For foaming, the Ultra-Sperse ratio usually ranges from 0.2% to 3% for a light froth and 3% to 5% for a light foam.
Note: See How to Measure Modernist Ingredients for more information on ratios.
How to Thicken with Ultra-Sperse?Top
Thickening with Ultra-Sperse is easy. Simply blend Ultra-Sperse into the liquid you want to thicken and you are all set!
Ultra-Sperse 3 works best for most types of thickening though Ultra-Sperse M is ideal for many preparations that will be frozen.
For most types of thickening you will want to use a ratio of 0.2% to 5% Ultra-Sperse, depending on how thick you want it to be. To actually thicken the liquid, simply blend the Ultra-Sperse into the liquid and it will quickly thicken.
How to Create Ultra-Sperse Gravy?Top
Making silky and smooth homemade gravy is easy using Ultra-Sperse. First take 300 grams of good, fresh stock, either chicken or beef works well. Next blend in 15 grams (5%) of Ultra-Sperse 3 into it. Heat the gravy to the desired serving temperature and serve.
How to Create Ultra-Sperse Foam?Top
To create foams with Ultra-Sperse 3, first thicken the liquid by blending or whisking in Ultra-Sperse. Next pour the thickened liquid into a whipping siphon then seal and charge the siphon. The foam can then be dispensed either hot or cold. Ultra-Sperse works equally well with both hot and cold preparations and typically it is used in ratios of 0.2% to 5%.
Quick Recipe: Piña Colada Foam
With an immersion blender combine 300 grams pineapple juice, 100 grams coconut milk, and 12 grams Ultra-Sperse. Pour the mixture into a whipping siphon then seal and charge it. Dispense the foam onto desserts or as a topper for piña coladas.
Looking for More Articles?Top
Ultra-Sperse Recipes and Articles
The other day I was up for some Chinese food but I didn't feel like ordering the greasy, starchy takeout from around the corner so I decided to make some myself. I had some extra brisket in the freezer that I wanted to use up so I went for a pressure cooked version of Chinese Peppered Beef.
This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com website.
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