Binding Agent
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Binding Agents are any ingredient that can help a mixture hold its shape or remain bound together. Sometimes Binding Agents do double duty and also add texture.

Binding Agents are typically added to the foodstuff at different stages throughout the cooking process and service depending on the Binding Agent and how it is used.

Varieties

Non-traditional binders include everything edible that is somewhat sticky with good volume. Examples include: Soy Powder, Rice, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Agar Agar, Gelatin, Psyllium Husk, Flax Meal (super fine ground), Chia Seed (finely ground), Nut Butters, Seed Butters, Gluten, Arrowroot, Tapioca, Corn Starch, Potato Starch, Pumpkin Purée, Sweet Potato Purée, Yam Purée, Applesauce, Banana Purée, Plantain Purée, Puréed Dates, Puréed Prunes, Puréed Figs (soaked and Simmered first), Puréed Zucchini, Puréed Carrot, Puréed Coconut (dried first), Puréed Beans (cooked first), Honey, Teff Flour, Buckwheat Flour, Amaranth Flour, Chickpea Flour, Sorghum Flour, Almond Flour, Sweet Rice Flour, Cocoa Powder, and whatever else you can come up with. Many of these items are also used for Thickening as well as binding.

Culinary Uses

There are two principal culinary types of Binding Agents or Binders used by the food industry: Fats (Like Eggs, Heavy Cream, even Dry Milk Power) and Panadas, which are technically something other than Fat which is added to Forcemeat as a binder. Eggs (and Egg Yolks and Egg Whites) help with adhesion and also provide texture.

In practice, Panadas are often made from Bread, Breadcrumbs, Flour, Grains, etc.