-4

I am a cook that created a dish with the following ingredients:

  • agar
  • a raw egg (remains uncooked)
  • bee pollen
  • honey
  • water

I want to be able to preserve this dish for months, because right now it starts to mold after a week in the fridge, even in an airtight container.

I know I can't simply freeze agar, so I'm either looking for ways to either make it preserve longer in the fridge (by adding ingredients? applying techniques?) or ways to still freeze the agar-based dish. (it's okay if it becomes a little more mushy.)

3
  • 2
    Is the final product a gel? Aside from your preservation issue, Agar gels typically undergo syneresis after a short time; that is, the liquid separates out. This happens in a day or two under refrigeration, but if you freeze, will certainly happen during the thaw.
    – moscafj
    Mar 27, 2022 at 12:26
  • @moscafj It is jelly-like, yes. However, it didn't lose that form after more than two weeks. It molded before any signs of detoriation was visible. But yes, I expect it to happen during thaw. Hence, the question.
    – Opifex
    Mar 28, 2022 at 6:26
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Stephie
    Mar 28, 2022 at 18:59

2 Answers 2

3

Very simply: you can't.

The shelf life of food is "built in" into a recipe. If you want something which lasts for a long time, the whole recipe has to be created around it being long-lasting. For example, if you want a piece of meat to last a long time, you have to turn it into salami, or pastrami, or something else that is durable - but you cannot have a piece of meat that does not spoil. Similarly, for your recipe, there is nothing you can do. If you keep it in the fridge, it has a shelf-life of 3-5 days, and after that it is officially unsafe. There is nothing you can do about it.

3

If it lasts for 1 or 2 weeks at a time, then I'd suggest making 1 to 2 weeks' worth at a time. Alternatively make the whole batch, but divide into small portions and invest in a vacuum sealer to remove all oxygen before freezing. The vacuum bags provide convenient freezer store as well.

But.... Thing is that just reducing the risk of mold won't stop your highly nutritious human food from decaying in other ways. Once eggs are out of the shell, they don't last long. Something with high water content, honey/sugar, and potential bacteria from the raw egg, not to mention the environment, is going to start fermenting, and agar is straight-up used to make those little culturing plates used in labs. Fermentation will still happen at fridge temperatures, even if it takes longer. Your sludge sounds like a great substrate for nightmares, as you've evidently witnessed on the mold-front, so for the sake of any human interacting with this stuff, I'd honestly recommend preparing smaller portions.

You can do that more easily by blending the egg to really liquify it, then weighing the egg and the other ingredients. Once you know the weights of everything, scaling the recipe is simple, and the liquefied egg is easier to measure.

The egg liquid can be preportioned and frozen (use a silicone ice cube tray if the amount of egg per portion is too tiny. Then just put the egg cubes in a freezer proof bag for long-term storage and hope for the best.) The ingredients can be combined/frozen where appropriate.

Alternatively,you can try powdered eggs, which are reconstituted with water. My concern would be that the drying (or pasteurization) might affect the proteins in a way that these humans like even less, lol.

But as rumtscho said, this food is simply not intended to last. Barring some kind of commercial preservative/mold-inhibitor approach, you're going to have to prepare it differently, prepare less, or decide if it's still cost-effective to make your own with the amount of loss each month.

3
  • To be fair; the agar component in bacterial/fungal plates is generally non-nutritive, it is merely there as a substrate for the culture to be inoculated on top of. It also doesn't freeze well - disintegrates when thawed.
    – bob1
    Mar 27, 2022 at 21:05
  • Thanks for the useful answer! Unfortunately (for reasons I'm not allowed to state anymore by the mods of this SE) I think using part of the egg is not an option, because it would require me to use less than a 20th of the egg. Even when frozen, that's pretty impractical. Using powdered egg would solve this indeed, but you are right that the "humans" might not eat it anymore then. I already own a vacuum sealer and have considered using it for this. It's just that I'm not very sure how I would apply it best for sealing tiny portions. (I use the size of a quarter twice a week)
    – Opifex
    Mar 28, 2022 at 6:40
  • @Opifex 1/24 of a large egg is still ~2 grams. Which is tiny, yes, but it can be done. Also consider the possibility of using a syringe to drop the egg onto parchment squares which can be transferred to a baking sheet in the freezer... They also make scales that are precise to a tenth if a gram.... Point being it can be done, but only you can decide of its worth it lol. Good luck!
    – kitukwfyer
    Mar 28, 2022 at 11:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.