I am in the process of researching thickeners. I thought you folks might appreciate some info as I learn it. There are two major types of gelatin type thickeners as described below. There are plenty of lesser known but I didn’t feel I had the space to go into them.
One envelope of plain granulated gelatin = 1/4 ounce = 1 tablespoon, enough to gel two cups liquid.
4 sheets leaf gelatin = 1 envelope granulated gelatin = 1 tablespoon granulated gelatin
Gelatin is flavorless and colorless, and if dissolved in hot liquid, it will gel as it cools.
Can be used to make cheesecakes, mousses, marshmallows, meringues, chiffon pies, ice cream, nougats, aspics, and many other things.
Gelatin will break down if exposed to the enzymes of certain raw fruits, like kiwi fruit, papayas, pineapple, peaches, mangos, guavas, and figs. Cooking these fruits, though, destroys the enzymes. If you plan to add these fruits to a gelatin salad, it's often easiest to buy them in cans, for all canned fruit is pre-cooked.
Gelatin is made from the bones, skins, hooves, and connective tissue of animals, including pigs, so it's objectionable to vegetarians and members of certain religions. Kosher gelatins are available, and some of these are also vegetarian.
Each of these amounts will firm two cups of liquid: 3 tablespoons agar flakes = 2 teaspoons agar powder.
Vegetarians like this seaweed derivative as a substitute for gelatin
Agar, contains minerals from seaweed.
To use agar, just soak it in the liquid for about 15 minutes, bring it to a gentle boil, then simmer while stirring until it's completely dissolved. The liquid will gel as it cools.
Acids weakens agar's gelling power, so if you're firming an acidic liquid, use more.
Like gelatin, agar will break down if exposed to the enzymes of certain raw fruits, like kiwi fruit, papayas, pineapple, peaches, mangos, guavas, and figs.
Agar comes in flakes, powder, or bars.