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Gold Leaf, Edible Ingredients, and Baking Supplies

Common Questions and Facts About Edible Metals, Luster Dusts, and Other Baking Supplies

Edible gold is actual gold that is pounded less than paper thin and is pure in content with a minor amount of naturally occurring silver. It does not contain copper or any other additives or ingredients and therefore is safe to consume.

Gold is considered safe for consumption as it is biologically inert and passes through the intestinal system.

Learn more about edible gold, including what it is and how it is used by reading this article.

Simply put, edible gold has a high price point because it is real gold. Gold is a rare commodity that fluctuates in price. In 2020 alone, the price of gold has increased by more than 45 percent to all-time highs, and while the prices waned slightly in the following years, they are once again on the rise in 2023.

The best gold leaf for accenting cakes and garnishing is loose leaf gold or soft press transfer sheets. Most people prefer the loose leaf for this specific application. It works well for applying small accents to cakes, cookies, chocolates, and more. Another great option is gold leaf flakes., which won't press smooth (as with sheet gold) but are perfect for textured gold flecks.

Edible silver leaf, like gold, pure in character containing only silver and no other trace elements.

Like edible gold, silver is biologically inert and passes through the intestinal tract. It is odorless and tasteless.

Follow this link to learn everything you need to know about edible silver leaf.

Soft press gold or silver is gold or silver that is lightly attached to transfer sheets separated by pages in a book of 10 or 25 sheets.

It is similar in function to loose leaf sheets but the transfer paper makes it easier for some to work with and can be used for both accenting and covering larger surface areas.

This type of gold or silver is still fragile and can easily blow away if proper care is not taken since the gold or silver is only lightly placed on each transfer sheet.

Hard press transfer sheets are gold or silver that is firmly attached to transfer paper backing by mechanical force for several hours so the gold is firmly attached to the transfer backing. Application with this type of edible gold and silver is usually the most difficult at first for some users but highly effective once you get the hang of it. It is commonly used to cover large surface area such as tier wedding cakes and other applications.

To apply hard press transfer it is alway recommend that your butter cream or fondant is cold. Place the transfer paper over the surface area you wish to cover (front side with gold facing the area you intend to cover) and smooth over the back of the transfer sheet with your finger or application tool.

This short video may assist if you are unfamiliar with this method.

All of our gold and silver products are certified kosher by EarthKosher. If you would like a copy of our Kosher certificate for your records, please contact us using the help page.

The shelf life of all edible gold and silver product is indefinite. Gold and silver are not perishable food products. Always store gold and silver properly away from excessive moisture and humidity.

Our edible gold is real gold. This is the only reason the product is edible. Our sheets are 24 karat and our flakes are 22.85 karat with a minor amount of pure silver.

Edible gold is made of pure gold that has been hammered thin. It may contain trace amounts of naturally occurring silver.

Not all metals are safe to eat but many precious, or "noble" metals are. Metals like gold, silver, and platinum do not react to moisture, so when they are consumed, they will pass through the system rather than being absorbed into it. For this reason, they are considered to be biologically inert.

Edible metals are flavorless and odorless. They are applied to food merely for the aesthetic appeal.

Today, most edible metals are not only vegetarian, but they are also vegan.

The question often arises, however because that wasn't always the case, traditionally, the intestinal lining of recently-slaughtered ungulates was used to pound the metals thin. That practice has long been phased out and the intestinal lining has been replaced by parchment paper or other sheets that will not deteriorate in the pounding process.

Vark is another name for edible metal or edible foil. It is thin sheets of edible metal that are used to decorate food products.

When the term, vark is used, it is typically referring to edible silver foil sheets, though it can also be used to refer to edible gold.

Yes, any silver product that is being sold as "edible" should be made of pure silver.

Edible platinum is made from real platinum. It is 99.9% pure, with trace amounts of silver, which is also edible.

Edible luster dusts are made of food-grade mica powder, which is where the pearlescent shimmer is derived. Many edible luster dusts will also contain other food-grade powders and starches and coloring agents.

Learn more about luster dust and the ingredients used to make it here.

No. Many luster dusts on the market are not considered edible, with ingredients that have not been approved as food-safe. Sadly, those luster dusts are often found on the same shelf as the edible versions in the crafting and baking aisles.

In most cases, if the label doesn't specifically state that the luster dust is indeed edible, do not add it to food (unless you plan on removing before consumption). When in doubt, always check the list of ingredients.

Edible luster dust can safely include sweeteners, anti-caking agents, powders and starches (such as plant starches, titanium dioxide, and maltodextrin), and coloring agents. The main ingredient will be listed as muscovite, mica, or potassium aluminum silicate.

Note: Non-toxic does not mean the product is edible. Please check the ingredients to ensure it is safe for consumption.

Want to make sure you are getting an edible luster dust? All of our luster dusts and baking decorations meet the U.S. FDA food safety requirements.

Sometimes products labeled as edible glitter and edible luster dust will contain the same ingredients—muscovite and other FDA-approved powders and coloring agents.

Edible glitter might also be made out of a variety of other ingredients, like gold and silver.

It's important to note, though, that not all luster dust and glitter are edible and that is because they can contain a long list of ingredients that are not considered to be food-safe.

Some glitter products that are likely situated on a shelf near their edible counterpart, will be made of shiny specks of plastic.

Be wary of products that are listed as "non-toxic" or "for decorative purposes only". The occurrence of those phrases on a label are usually indicators of products that are not edible.

Yes. Luster dust can be flecked or brushed directly without the use of alcohol. Many folks choose to mix luster dust with alcohol and paint it on, though. This method better ensures a smooth appearance. Alcohol (or alcohol-based vanilla extract) is often the chosen method because the alcohol evaporates just leaves the shimmer.

If you are looking for a non-alcoholic way to create an edible shimmer "paint", try using lemon juice or water. It won't evaporate the same but will create a similar effect.

Luster dust can be applied wet or dry. If dry, you can use a dry paintbrush to dust or fleck it on. If you would like a smoother look, mix the pearlescent powder with clear alcohol (or even vanilla extract) and use a clean paintbrush to paint a smooth layer onto the culinary subject. The alcohol will evaporate, leaving a smooth sheen. Another, simple way to add some sparkle to your table is to mix it into cocktails, simply place a little on a spoon and stir it into a transparent beverage of your choice.