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Borax (sodium salt of boric acid) is used in some recipes as a texturizing agent.

From Wikipedia:

borax imparts a firm, rubbery texture to food.

It does this by binding polymers in the food:

Borax acts on these polymers just as it acts on other polymers and will bind polymers together forming cross-linkages which change the texture and structure of the proteins.

However, it is banned as a food additive in several countries due to concerns about its safety.

What is a safe alternative which will have the same textural/binding effect on meat proteins but without the possible risk?

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I use salt and STTP when I make burgers and bakso, (that’s the hard meatballs). Sodium Tripolyphosphate (STPP) There is an article on it that may be of interest. https://journal.ugm.ac.id/istapproceeding/article/view/32675

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  • Thank you very much. What level of STPP do you use? Assuming I can find some, I will give it a try and report back here with my results.
    – WackGet
    Feb 16 at 4:21
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    We use 3g of STTP per kilo of minced beef. The beef is 20% fat and 100g of Panko bread crumbs are added. The beefburgers have a good texture. Some water needs to be added when using STTP. In the case of home made pasta, using STTP one eight of a teaspoon the water content is increased in our case from 200g to 300 g. The pasta handles well and is more tender. I.E. When the recipe calls for 200g we found 300g of water was needed. Feb 19 at 14:06
  • Thank you very much. Do you have a blog or a website where you talk more about your cooking? It's rare to see people discuss technical / commercial cookery so I would be interested to follow your content. :)
    – WackGet
    Feb 22 at 17:25

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