Newsletters > Cake Decorators Do you know What Cold Porcelain is
Cake Decorators Do you know What Cold Porcelain is

Mar 3, 2008

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 gives 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 Center for 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,

Marivi