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[BKARTS] Instant wheat paste? Etc.



Zen Instant Wheat Starch Paste claims to be solely wheat starch derived.
With other instant starch pastes the starches are derived from a variety and
mixture of cereal grains, not just wheat. Picreator's Stadex is one such
product.
There is I suppose always the question of just how much of the gluten has
actually been removed, but surely the same applies to all commercial starches
for cooking paste. As long as the instant paste is additive free and pH
neutral, I know of no arguments against their use, except perhaps the greater
cost.
I cook my paste (wheat or rice starch) in small batches and as needed using a
lab hot plate with magnetic stirrer and timer. The process is so simple, and
requires so little attention, that I've never felt the need to speed the
making nor add a preservative. The equipment itself has myriad other uses,
more than justifying the initial cost. Check out eBay.
Or you can make your paste in a microwave; the nuking really speeds the
process!
As to paste gone bad, the use of sour or aged paste (ten years in the aging
under a top layer of mold and water) has a long tradition in Japanese
conservation and restoration. The aged rice starch paste provides a weaker
bond and is more transparent than non-aged paste, both desirable traits for
some jobs. However, I believe that methyl cellulose is largely supplanting
the use of "aged paste".
Best,
James

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