All about edible gold



What are culinary gold and silver made of?

People often ask, “what is edible gold?” or “what substances is edible silver made of?” Well, in order to offer and guarantee the highest quality, Gold Chef has chosen to use only pure gold and silver without adding any copper. The edible gold and silver are processed in food approved facility for the production of products intended for use in food(*).

Can you eat gold and silver?

Absolutely yes, if the product meets the minimum standards for purity and if used in compliance with local regulations(*). You can eat gold and silver(*) because they are a food coloring classified by the European Union legislation with the numbers E175 and E174.

Do gold and silver food products have any effects on the body?

No, they do not interact in any way with our organism. Although over the centuries many have attributed extraordinary beneficial and healing properties to them, they are biologically inert. However, it is important to make sure that you buy pure gold and silver produced exclusively in establishments that have a health permit for the production of food products.

Do culinary gold and silver have a metallic taste?

No. When processed in very thin layers (tenths of a micron), culinary gold and silver are tasteless and absolutely undetectable to the palate. Gold Chef products, guaranteed by the impeccably controlled processing of Giusto Manetti Battiloro (a historic company that has been working gold leaf in Florence since 1600), are the thinnest available on the market. Moreover, edible gold and silver are composed of pure metals: 24 carat, 23 carat gold and pure silver. They contain no copper, which is harmful to the body, and no substances of animal origin. Gold and silver are food allergen-free and suitable for decorating any type of recipe – in compliance with local regulations(*) – as sweets and savory dishes, as well as drinks, such as cocktails, liqueurs and spirits(*).

How are edible gold and silver products made?

Gold Chef real edible gold is Made in Italy and is obtained by processing ingots, following procedures in line with the principles of General Manufacturing Practice (GMP) good manufacturing and in compliance with Italian and European food hygiene laws. The used gold comes from responsible sources and its processing is guaranteed by Giusto Manetti Battiloro, a company based in Florence, Italy, that has specialized in the treatment of precious metals since 1600. During production, the company carries out as many as 10 product control steps before releasing it onto the market.

Is buying gold and silver food online safe?

Certainly, provided that the products are purchased exclusively from producers who are authorized for food production and sale, and not from producers and retailers who do not provide all of the appropriate guarantees in terms of origin and food safety.

How much do culinary gold and silver cost?

Less than caviar and saffron! Formerly reserved for the tables of kings and, more recently, for the kitchens of star chefs, culinary gold and silver – while maintaining their connotations of exclusivity – are a luxury within everyone’s reach. Their cost is comparable to that of fine spices. Therefore, they cost less than what is commonly thought, however, it is important to remember that quality has a price.

The first thing to do if you want to buy culinary gold or silver is, therefore, to make sure they are products certified for use in food, that is, that they meet all legal standards regarding composition and production and that they are produced by companies who have obtained health approval for the production and sale of food additives.

What are the uses of edible gold and silver?

Edible gold and silver products are used to creatively decorate food(*). They have been traditionally utilised on cakes, chocolates, desserts, jellies and ice cream(*). They are also quite loved by chefs who use gold and silver to illuminate hors d’oeuvres and finger food, fish and meat first and second courses, vegetables, fusion recipes and sushi(*). They are also widely used to make unique and unforgettable cocktails, as well as in champagne flûtes, spirits and fine liqueurs.

Is it difficult to decorate a plate with edible gold and silver?

No. All you need is attention, creativity and a strong desire to experiment with something new(*). The result is unfailingly surprising. All it takes is a bit of powder, a handful of crumbs, a few flakes or a gold or silver leaf to add a richness to any dish, giving it an impalpable luminescence. You may use this gold and silver on anything from appetizers to desserts and on beautiful glasses of champagne and cocktails(*).

In what formats can I buy edible gold and silver?

The most common formats of edible gold and silver are leaf, powder, crumbs and flakes. Each format has different sizes and application characteristics. The gold and silver leaf is particularly suitable for decorating cakes and dishes with a regular surface, such as risotto(*). The powder is perfect for adding a sheen to chocolates and champagne flûtes(*). The crumbs are a touch of light that makes many recipes unique, from appetizers to desserts(*). The flakes are a way to show you have mastered decorating impeccable dishes and single-portion pastries by adding a touch of the spectacular(*).

How much gold and silver do I need when decorating?

It depends on the type of dish, the type of application and the number of people you are cooking for. The rule of thumb is that silver, even if it weighs the same, has a higher yield than gold and the powder’s brightness is more spread out than the crumbs and flakes. With the same mg of product you will attain significantly different visual effects. As a guideline, the 70 mg gold powder, crumbs and flakes are perfect for 5-7 servings; 125 mg for 8-10 servings; and 1 g is sufficient for 70-90 people. As for the leaf, one may be enough to decorate  a cake(*). For full coverage we need a few more.

Is edible gold a novelty in contemporary cuisine?

Not at all. The first uses of edible gold date back to the Far East and Egypt in the second millennium BC. The Greco-Romans also used gold decorations on food and a large number of sources cite its use in Renaissance courts. In 1500 in Padua it was utilised so much that the City Council was forced to put a limit on its consumption for food purposes. Find out more about the history of edible gold.
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Why choose Gold Chef gold and silver products?

Because they are guaranteed by Giusto Manetti Battiloro, a leading company in the production of gold leaf, and by the 400-year history of the Manetti family. The products comply with the regulations set forth by Italian Law and the European Community for the production of food. The products contain no food-allergen or animal-derived products; they are tasteless and imperceptible to the palate; they come only from pure gold and silver that are traced and certified and they are supplied in glass or parchment packaging for the ideal conservation of food.
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What does edible gold taste like?

All available varieties, from crumbs and powder to flakes and culinary gold leaf, have no taste. They are biologically inert, odorless and undetectable to the palate. The same applies to edible silver products. Culinary gold and silver are used by top chefs exclusively to decorate their creations, or are used as decorative elements in the manufacturing of certain products, especially liqueurs and spirits(*).

In industrial production, there may be specific needs according to the type of product, the process used, or even for the amount of gold. Upon request, we can customize some of the characteristics of edible gold and silver for industrial production, in particular: size, specific weight and alloy.

What is the composition of culinary gold? What about edible silver?

By law, culinary gold must contain a minimum of 90% gold, that is 21.6 carats; while culinary silver, in order to be certified as edible, must be at least 99.5% pure. How is Gold Chef edible gold made? It is 23K gold, which therefore has a higher degree of purity than that specified by current regulations. The same is true for Gold Chef edible silver, which is 100% pure. All Gold Chef products are produced without food-allergen and copper and are suitable for use in vegan, Kosher and Halal cuisine.

What is culinary gold leaf?

Culinary gold leaf is a particular cut of gold, in the form of a leaf, contained in special booklets and used in particular for the decoration of homogeneous food surfaces. Culinary gold leaf can be combined with different ingredients, both sweet and salty(*), and can be placed on the top of a dish as an ornamental complement to the recipe. It is good to remember culinary gold does not have any particular properties and that it is intended for decorative use only(*).

Is edible gold bad for you?

Absolutely not! Gold is edible, as is silver, if it complies with the minimum purity parameters required by law and if it is produced according to correct food practices (*). To do this in the best possible way, Giusto Manetti Battiloro has decided to implement a quality system for the control of the production process which has been certified according to the international standard FSSC 22.000:2020. Gold Chef edible gold and silver are biologically inert, odorless and tasteless and are made without the use of copper and raw materials of animal origin.

Gold Chef edible gold is produced only with traceable gold from responsible sources, which undergoes 10 control steps at the production site. The process of making the different kinds of edible gold, such as leaf, crumbs, flakes and powder, takes place in line with GMP (General Manufacturing Practice) good manufacturing standards at the Giusto Manetti Battiloro company’s factory in Campi Bisenzio (Florence, Italy), which is certified for food coloring production. The products comply with Italian and European regulations and standards and are also recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration. Moreover, Gold Chef edible gold is produced without copper and has a higher carat (24K and 23K) compared to the required legal minimum (i.e., 21.6K) to be considered edible.

How can I choose the most suitable type?

The choice of the type of edible gold or silver  to combine with the food depends on local regulations(*), on the chef’s inspiration and on the type of recipe being prepared. Crumbs are particularly suitable for embellishing liqueurs and spirits (*), gold spray is designed for decorating dishes and desserts just before serving, to add a bright touch to the table(*). Edible gold leaf is suitable for covering homogeneous surfaces, as in the case of the famous saffron and gold risotto of the master chef, Gualtiero Marchesi(*).

Is there a price difference between edible gold and silver?

How much does culinary gold cost as compared to silver? The products vary in price, depending on the quantities. The cost of culinary gold is higher than the cost of culinary silver.

The price of culinary gold leaf, as well as other shredded products, does not vary by size, but by packaging. The leaves are different because they are packaged differently, that is, in booklets. Each booklet contains five leaves, available in sizes of 50×50 mm and 80×80 mm. The other Gold Chef products, powder, flakes and crumbs, are available in paper envelopes with parchment inside, or in glass jars, with a convenient spreader.