When applied to wine, it is the practice of giving wine an opportunity to breathe by opening the bottle and pouring the contents into a glass or or a container in order to expose the wine to volumes of air. The process of swirling wine in a glass or funneling it through a decanter that has been designed to aerate wine is considered as an aeration process. This is more common with red wine and is thought to soften tannic wines. (See also “Decanting”)

In addition to wine, foods use aeration as a means to introduce air into the item or ingredients to affect the texture, flavor or results of the food being prepared. When flour is sifted, air is added to the flour making it lighter, thus improving the consistency of the food. When dough is kneaded, air is brought into the dough by creating air pockets that assist in producing carbon dioxide gas, which makes bread rise. If the kneading is accomplished by a machine, which adds more air into the dough, the texture of the baked bread is finer in consistency than bread kneaded by hand and results in developing less air or aeration.

Cakes use butter that is creamed with caster sugar as a means to add small amounts of air so the cake mix rises into a well formed texture. Ingredients such as butter, margarine or shortening, known as "plastic fat" can be formed into smooth and creamy mixtures with tiny air pockets that are contained within the fat. Cooking oils and other liquid fats however, will not aerate as effectively as plastic fat, so they cannot be used to create desired textures as well as plastic fats.


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