March 28, 2020
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When it’s game day, you’ve got to bring
your snack situation to the next level, and why not do that with a
little bit of chemistry? I’m talking nachos today folks,
and in particular how to make the ultimate nacho cheese. ( Reactions Splash Intro) You can break nachos down into two camps: real melted cheese and
goopy processed cheese. Both have their benefits, but some nacho chefs
aren’t thrilled about the flavor of cheese from a pump and prefer
a nice melted cheddar. What if I told you that you can have
the best of both worlds, that process cheese texture alongside
that real cheese flavor. Nacho connoisseurs know, if you try
to melt cheddar in a pot, you get an oily, gritty mess, so meet
your new friend Sodium Citrate. Also known as an emulsifying salt, this stuff
can help you melt your cheese into a silky smooth textural delight. If you want to blow your friend’s
minds get online and buy yourself some of this stuff ASAP. When you get it, here’s what you do
to make a phenomenal nacho cheese, or just regular old cheese dip. First put a pot on the stove
at low to medium heat. Then take one cup of your favorite
beer and pour it into that pot. Grab your Sodium citrate and add 2
teaspoons, stir it until dissolved and bring this thing to a simmer. Then take four cups of your favorite
cheddar or Colby or Jack, whatever floats your boat, and slowly stir
in your cheese until nice and smooth. To take it to the next level, you
can add in minced peppers or a dash or two of your favorite hot sauce. And remember folks, this recipe covers
the basics, you can get clever. To understand how Sodium Citrate allows
cheese to melt evenly, you first have to get the basics of cheese down. Cheese is made of up mixture of fats,
moisture and little clumps of casein proteins called micelles that are
held together by calcium ions. When a cheese with a lower pH is heated,
the calcium breaks off to mingle outside the micelles because calcium
dissolves in acid. This allows some of the proteins
to mingle with the fats and moisture, to keep everything melting evening. If the pH is too high, the calcium stays
put, which keeps everything in place, except the oils and moisture which
escape the cheese when heated up. Hence, your gritty oily mess. I’m going to keep it really simple
simple for you folks, the key to sodium citrate is that it’s in the
business of straight up calcium robbery. When introduced to cheese, citrate ions
bind with the calcium that’s usually helping keep in the micelles together. This bond pulls those calcium ions away
from their posts and replaces them with sodium ions that are happy to
leave their old citrate partner. Sodium Citrate also increases the pH
of the cheese which causes the casein proteins to gain a net negative charge
and repel away from each other. Although normally a higher pH makes
everything stay put, having sodium ions replace the calcium helps free
plenty of casein proteins which then act as an emulsifier, or in other words,
they help keep all the oils and moisture mixed evenly throughout your cheese. So the more free casein you
have to work on your melt, the more smooth your cheese is going to be be.
In case you’re wondering, sodium citrate is one of the key ingredients of processed cheese, otherwise
known as those yellow squares. Also, you don’t have to keep
this cheese trick to just nachos. Think cheesesteaks, macaroni and
cheese, steamed vegetables, I mean anything that you can think of. If any of you out there tried this out,
let us know how it went and if bonus points if you came up with a
new recipe or way to use it! Thanks for watching folks, we’ve got
plenty more food chem on our channel so make sure to check out
either of these videos. Subscribe and hit thumbs
up on the way out.

Randall Smitham