Are those Shiny Glitters on Your Cakes Safe to Eat?
Glitter cupcakes, glitter churros, glitter lattes, glitter milkshakes, and even rainbow glitter pizza – glitters have taken the world over by storm. People are reaching out to sparkly foods to win likes on Instagram.
As the trend of glittery foods takes off, skeptics want to know whether they are actually safe to eat? The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) released a statement asking people to eat glittery foods with caution and to use only glitters that are marked safe for edible usage. Here, in today’s post, we share the good and bad about this latest food trend.
What is Edible Glitter?
Edible glitter is generally considered as the pixie dust of the culinary world. A dash of edible glitter and even the most boring foods become Instagram-worthy.
Edible glitter has many names – jewel dust, pearl dust, disco dust, luster dust and so on. While there’s no doubt that edible glitter adds a “Wow” factor to your foods, don’t get be blinded by all the sparkle. Make sure to read the labels, check out the ingredient list, and confirm if it’s marked “edible,” before adding this sparkly stuff to your foods.
What is Edible Glitter Made of?
Most food glitter is made from sugar and cornstarch along with other colour additives. It’s safe to eat, however, if your glitter container contains the words, “only for decorative purposes,” or “non-toxic,” then it’s time to pause.
Now, comes the important part,
How do you find out if the Glitter you are choosing is Safe to Eat?
Before you sprinkle glitter on all that you eat and drink, it’s crucial to know that there are plenty of edible impostors without the necessary certifications. Consider them as the fake designer products of the edible glitter world. They look and feel similar to regular glitter but aren’t the real stuff.
You are likely to spot these sparkly impostors on cake supply aisles at your local market. They may even be labeled as non-toxic. But just because something is non-toxic (like modeling clay, craft glue), you shouldn’t add them to your foods.
As mentioned above, while shopping for edible glitter, make sure that you check the ingredient list on the container and find out whether it’s marked edible specifically. If the label just says, “non-toxic,” then you shouldn’t use it on your foods.
Here, at Gurgaon Bakers, we use ONLY the finest edible glitters that are food-safe, FSSAI approved, and FDA approved.
Here is some of the sparkly stuff, you can find in our pantry:
1. Petal Dust
These are matte dry edible dusts that we use for dusting gum paste and fondant. We use this for adding a matte finish to our sugar pieces. Petal dust come with an “e-number,” that indicates they are safe to eat. They also have the ingredients listed on the container.
2. Luster Dust
As the name suggests, this imparts shine to your culinary creations. Depending on the ingredients used, it can be either non-toxic or edible. With that said, most of the ingredients used in luster dust are minerals like mica, titanium oxide, carmine, and iron oxide. Some colours also contain chromium oxide and iron blue. Luster dust is not water soluble.
While some luster dust are non-toxic, it doesn’t mean you should eat them. Look for FDA certification if you are getting an imported on, or FSSAI certification if you are buying ones made in India.
3. Highlighter Dust
This one is always NOT edible. It imparts super-high shine and generally gives outstanding results. However, make sure that you use them only for your cake toppers, that you know won’t be eaten.
4. Pixie or Disco Dust
These are also NON edible. Just like highlighter dust, you can use them only for parts of the cake – like decoration items, toppers, that you know won’t be eaten.
Can You Make Edible Glitter at Home?
For professional cakes we make here at Gurgaon Bakers we use high-quality glitter and dust that we purchase from reputed brands. However, if you are a home baker, and don’t want to spend on buying edible glitter, you can try out this DIY recipe. Another benefit of this recipe is that you see what goes in your glitter. It doesn’t contain any added preservatives and additives.
- Cold water – ¼ cup
- Gelatin powder – 5 teaspoons
- Food colours, and pearl dust in your preferred colours
- Take the cold water in a shallow container.
- Sprinkle the gelatin powder in it. Let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Then heat this mixture for 30 seconds. Stir it well. Heat it for another 15 seconds, until the gelatin is dissolved well. Don’t overheat the mixture.
- Remove the white foam on top with a spoon. Discard it.
- Now mix this melted gelatin with your preferred colours and metallic dust. For instance, if you want to make pink glitter, then mix this with a touch of pink food colour and pink pearl dust.
- Pour the gelatin mixture over a silicon mat or plastic sheet.
- Let it dry overnight.
- The next day, blend this mixture in a food processor, and you’ve got edible glitter.
Note: Most DIY edible glitter recipes call for hard to find ingredients like gum Arabic. That’s why, we have given you this simple, easy to make recipe. You can easily find gelatin powder in all grocery stores. If you cannot use gelatin for health or religious reasons, you can try this recipe with Agar Agar, which is a type of seaweed.
What about the Sparkling Sugar Recipe?
If you are a user of Pinterest or follow popular baking channels on YouTube, then you would have come across recipes that ask you to bake sugar crystals to make edible glitter. Sorry to burst the bubble, these recipes don’t work. These are nothing but regular sugar crystals mixed with food colour, but they aren’t edible glitter.
Hope this article clears the air about the “sparkly stuff” you find on your foods. Here, at Gurgaon Bakers, we focus more on than just aesthetics. We ensure that the cakes that leave our kitchen don’t just look good, but are also nourishing and safe for you. We use only food-grade, FSSAI and/or FDA certified products. So the next time you order wedding or birthday cakes from us, you know you are eating only the best in every spoonful.