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I'd planning to attempt some flavoured methocel noodles; I know that type K is the softest (best for things like marshmallows) but I've never experimented with the firmer kinds and I'm not entirely sure just how firm they get.

I'm pretty sure I'll want one of the high-viscosity types and there's a supplier here selling 4000 cP, but will type A (A4M or maybe A15C according to this chart) be close to the texture of spaghetti or could it end up being too firm?

Which type would be similar in texture to the 1.7% agar solution used in Schellhoss's parmesan spaghetti recipe included in the Khymos collection?

Also, is there any chance that this type might "melt" as it cools back down to room temperature - i.e. would it be imperative to consume the noodles while still hot?

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Why do you want to use just Methocel? Do you want to serve hot or cold? From my experience Methocel goes either a gel, plastic, or brittle, it does not do "al dente". K carageenans can do elastic. I am certainly no expert with it, but I have never seen Methocel do noodles? –  TFD Mar 16 '11 at 3:35
    
@TFD: There are over 20 different types of methylcellulose, so if they go all the way to "brittle" then there's almost certainly going to be one in between that and "gel". Al dente is not really the point - no gel noodles are ever truly al dente - but the texture could be similar to the glass rice noodles which are at least palatable. Methocel should be ideal for this application because it stiffens, rather than melts, with heat; agar noodles are OK but difficult to serve hot. Anyway, it's certainly been done before. –  Aaronut Mar 16 '11 at 14:01
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1 Answer

There's actually a commercial product designed for the purpose - methocel for gluten replacement can be used to make noodles.

http://www.dow.com/dowwolff/en/food_nutrition/products/gluten_replacer.htm

It would be hard to specify a grade comparable to the agar solution - the two things do not behave similarly when hot and cold. An agar solution giving a particular gel strength will have a much lower viscosity when liquified than a methocel gel of comparable strength. And there are several types of agar - it is a natural product, its properties depend on the seaweed species, locality and processing method.

Experimenting with solutions of E50 would probably get you there, but I'm not sure that the Schellhoss recipe tells the whole story. The combination of seaweed gel with parmesan makes me suspect that the gel is acting as a MSG enhancer on the high natural MSG content of the parmesan.

Whatever, hope these ramblings help your decision.

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Thanks for the great link; I really wish they would specify which type of methyl cellulose it is (the brochure seems to indicate that it is pure MC of some grade) but at least I've got something to look for. You're right about the difference with agar; what I meant was the texture at around 50-60° C or so - warm, but well below the melting point of agar and (hopefully) above the melting point of MC. –  Aaronut Apr 27 '11 at 13:47
    
I think you will find that the methocel for gluten replacement is a specialised mix. There was a lot more info on dowfood. com, but that site has been taken down and redirected to a page on the main site which has also been removed. –  klypos Apr 27 '11 at 15:13
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