Friday, 10 February 2012

All that Glitters is Not Gold

Recently in UK caking circles there seems to have been a bit of a stir about glitter on cakes - is it edible or not?

Often packaging has been confusing or misleading, and the situation hasn't been helped by people seeing TV chefs using the stuff with gay abandon on their creations.

The Foods Standards Agency (FSA) has decided to take a close look at what is going on. You might like to read this letter from the FSA to the Director of Trading Standards regarding the misuse of these products.

In very simple terms, there are glitters (and dusts) on the market which are labelled as being foodsafe and 'non-toxic'. These are not the same as 'edible'. What it means is that they are safe to come into contact with food items, but they are not designed to be consumed (although  if consumed they aren't toxic). These glitters are intended to be removable decoration, not consumed along with the food item.

My black and white shoe cake is an example of non-toxic glitter being used in the correct way - while being perfectly food safe, the shoe is not intended to be eaten and was removed completely from the cake before consumption.

At Canterbury Cakes you may see glittery decorations, which can be easily removed (and when you collect your cake you will be advised as such), but you will never see our any of our cakes with glitter applied in a way that it cannot be removed  - as a result, perhaps the cakes may not be as pretty and sparkley as some things you may see on the web, but I take the safety of my clients very seriously and when you think about what glitter actually is (see what Wikipedia has to say), small particles of plastic and metal, would you really want to be eating it? I certainly wouldn't!