Cake Decorators, Do you know what cold porcelain is?
I have received many e-mails asking about what is and how to make cold porcelain and its uses. In this writing I will tell you everything I know about cold porcelain and where to use it.
Cold porcelain is a non –edible paste. It is made with glue, corn starch and some chemicals. Cold porcelain is not to be used to decorate cakes, because it contains a contaminant. Cakes should and most be decorated with sugar paste, pastillage, gum paste or chocolate flowers and ornament.
Cold Porcelain is excellent for table decorations and centerpieces, bridal bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. You can make very delicate non edible favors with this paste. Porcelain should never be place in contact with the cake or food.
Here are the reasons why Cold Porcelain is a contaminant. I have in my file over 30 cold porcelain recipes. People place different names to the same paste, like porcelanicron, Russian porcelain, French porcelain, magic paste, etc. Many of these recipes contain one or more of the following ingredients: stearic acid, titanium dioxide, formalin or formaldehyde, baby oil, hand cream and others. Here is some information about the ingredients or chemicals, to my personal opinion, dangerous for the artisan that make the paste and also for the consumer of the food exposed to these contaminants.
Stearic acid is a product use to make candles, soaps, plastics, oil pastels, cosmetics and for softening rubber. In fireworks, stearic acid is often used to coat metal powders, such as aluminum and iron, This prevent oxidation allowing compositions to be stored for longer. In the case of the cold porcelain it give elasticity to the paste and prevent it from becoming moldy if not used for a prolonged time.
Titanium Dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen, “possible carcinogen to humans” This ingredient is used to help avoid the paste from becoming transparent.
Formalin or “Formaldehyde” can be toxic, allergenic and carcinogenic. The United States Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention, performed indoor air quality testing because exposure can cause burning eyes and or nose, coughing, difficulty breathing, headaches and has been shown to be carcinogenic, causing nasal nasopharyngeal cancer and possible leukemia as well. Formaldehyde is classified as probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
I have a double concern, because I care for you, all of you. Why? I am convinced that we are all one. Care about the one that make the cold porcelain using those ingredients. Do you know what happens when you mix those ingredients and cook them together? What chemical reaction are you generating? Do you know how harmful inhaling these fumes when heated might be for your health, your family? Do you know about the environmental consequences? On the other side, those that buy these cold porcelain pieces, ornaments and beautiful flowers to decorate the cakes, do you know the source of the products? There is no way to know the chemicals used in their production. Think about it, and pleeeeeeease do not place them on the cakes. There are many sugar crafters and, companies that sale the sugar flowers and will be more than happy to do business with you. We spend long hours baking, decorating our delicious cakes to be consumed by human beings. Please, don’t place cold porcelain flowers an ornament on your cakes. Sugar flowers for the cakes and the cold porcelain ornaments for the tables centerpieces. Next week I will give a recipe of cold porcelain that is innocuous and it not need to be cooked. It is the recipe I use to make figurines, and flower arrangements for home decorations, also use it for non edible favors, but never to decorate cakes. See you next week,