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Arrowroot tubers contain about 23% starch. They are first washed, and then cleaned of the paper-like scale. The scales must be carefully removed before the extraction of the starch because they impart their disagreeable flavor if allowed to remain. After the removal of the scale, the roots are washed again, drained and finally reduced to a pulp by beating them in mortars or subjecting them to the action of the wheel rasp. The milky liquid thus obtained is passed through a coarse cloth or hair sieve and the pure starch, which is insoluble, is allowed to settle at the bottom. The wet starch is dried in the sun or in a drying house. The result is a powder, the "arrowroot" of commerce, and it is at once packed for market in air-tight cans, packages or cases.
Arrowroot starch has in the past been quite extensively adulterated with potato starch and other similar substances, so care is needed in selection and buying. Pure arrowroot, like other pure starches, is a light, white powder (the mass feeling firm to the finger and crackling like newly fallen snow when rubbed or pressed), odourless when dry, but emitting a faint, peculiar odor when mixed with boiling water, and swelling on cooking into a perfect jelly, which can be used to make a food for vegetarians very smooth in consistency — unlike adulterated articles, mixed with potato flour and other starches of lower value, which contain larger particles.
Arrowroot is used as an article of diet in the form of biscuits, puddings, jellies, cakes, hot sauces, etc., and also with beef tea, milk or veal broth, and noodles in Korean and Vietnamese cuisine. In the Victorian era it was used, boiled with a little flavoring added, as an easily digestible food for children and people with dietary restrictions. With today's greater understanding of its limited nutritional properties, it is no longer used in this way.
Arrowroot makes clear, shimmering fruit gels and prevents ice crystals from forming in homemade ice cream. It can also be used as a thickener for acidic foods, such as Asian sweet and sour sauce. It is extremely valuable in cooking when you wish to have a clear, thickened sauce, for example, a fruit sauce. It will not make the sauce go cloudy, like cornstarch, flour or other starchy thickening agents would.
The lack of gluten in arrowroot flour makes it useful as a replacement for wheat flour in baking. Like other pure starches, however, arrowroot is almost pure carbohydrate and devoid of protein, thus it does not equal wheat flour nutritionally.
Arrowroot thickens at a lower temperature than does flour or cornstarch, is not weakened by acidic ingredients, has a more neutral taste, and is not affected by freezing. It doesn't mix well with dairy, forming a slimy mixture. It is recommended to mix arrowroot with a cool liquid before adding to a hot fluid. The mixture should be heated only until the mixture thickens and removed immediately to prevent the mixture from thinning. Overheating tends to break down arrowroot's thickening property. Substitute two teaspoons of arrowroot for one tablespoon of cornstarch, or one teaspoon of arrowroot for one tablespoon of wheat flour
Arrowroot powder is a wonderful substitute for talc in body powders. Use
arrowroot alone or in combination with cosmetic clays and cornstarch.
Arrowroot powder gives a silky feel to water when added to a milk bath.
Arrowroot powder also thickens water-based products.It is most often
used as an ingredient in powders and is used in cosmetics to help
moisturizers penetrate the skin.
Many colorants may be pH sensitive and can change or morph at high or low pH levels.
No final color is implied or guaranteed in any final formulation or soap. The customer is responsible for all testing in formulations.
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