Binding power & other characteristics
In the table above we see a few binders that have the same combination of the two. Does this mean you can replace them by another? Not necessarily. All binders have their own characteristics to keep in mind. First of all, the binding power can be quite different, which means you should use more or less of one binder than you would of the other. Take corn starch and flour. Both warm and blind binders and therefore great alternatives for each other, but do realize that the binding power of corn starch is much higher than of flour. To reach the same level of binding, you should therefore use more of flour than you would use corn starch. And while corn starch cannot handle cooking temperatures, isn’t that a problem of flour.
Another one. Often agar agar is recommended as a vegetable alternative for gelatin. Which is completely true, but the binding power of agar agar is 4-5 times higher than gelatin. So never replace your gelatin powder by the same amount of agar agar if you don’t want to ruin your recipe.
Besides binding power, there are other factors that determine if you can replace binders by one another. Some binders for example don’t work well with certain products. Gelatin doesn’t go well with pineapple, kiwi or papaya, while Agar Agar can’t handle a high acidity. And as we mentioned earlier in this blog, corn starch should never cook, while gelatin can’t be frozen. Finally, the desired structure of the product you’re binding can make one binder better suitable than the other, because some binders are softer and more refined. All of these factors are mentioned in the product information of the specific binders, together with some example of the type of recipes they are often used for. We advise you to check these when looking for the right binder, as this will certainly help a lot.