Quick and easy recipe: how to make rice paper

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Introduction

Have you ever encountered "paper" on your plate—perhaps in the khung of thin paper for spring rolls, or cake decorating? Did it make you wonder how this paper relates to lớn the paper you write on? You will find out in this activity! In addition, you can discover the recipe to make the edible paper you lượt thích best.

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This activity is not recommended for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. Khổng lồ find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

Brown rice flour Potato starch Water Small bowl Tablespoon Spoon Microwavable plate Plastic Wrap Microwave Sheet of paper Pencil or pen Optional: Salt Optional: Food-color (edible ink) pen Optional: Zip-top bag Optional: Adult help
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Stretch plastic wrap tightly over the microwavable plate so that it clings lớn the sides & does not cảm ứng the center of the plate.
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To the small bowl, địa chỉ cửa hàng one tbsp. Of rice flour, one tbsp of potato starch, & about 1.5 tbsp. Of water, as well as, optionally, a pinch of salt—this is Recipe1. Mix the ingredients until you have a smooth paste. The paste should have the consistency of trắng school glue. địa chỉ a little additional water if the paste is too stiff.
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Pour the paste onto the plastic wrap. Spread the paste out evenly with a spoon and/or by tilting the plate.
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Put the plate in the microwave, & heat the paste on high for about 45 seconds lớn dry it. (Note that the exact duration depends on your microwave.) The sheet of paper will look dry when it is done. (Safety note: In general, food should not touch plastic wrap while it is being heated in a microwave, but it is fine occasionally for items of which you eat relative small quantities.)
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Remove the sheet of paper from the plastic wrap. This can be tricky so take your time! Removing the plastic wrap from the plate first might help. Turning over the plate with plastic wrap và paper is another strategy. You could also ask an adult khổng lồ help with this step.

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Repeat the paper making procedure two more time so. This time aim khổng lồ produce sheets that are as thin as you can make them. It is ok if some break in the process. A small piece to kiểm tra is enough for the activity, and you will get better with practice. (If you need khổng lồ take a break, store the sheets of paper in a zip-top bag so they vày not dry out.)
Divide your sheet of paper into two columns. Leave the first blank, write "Recipe1" at the top of the second.
Create at least eight rows in your table. In the first column of the table, label the first one "easy khổng lồ make," the second one "appearance," the third one "smoothness," the fourth one "flexibility," the fifth one "strength," the sixth one "stretchiness," the seventh one "taste" & the eighth one "total."
Now it is time to kiểm tra the sheets of edible paper! As you observe your paper, see if you can attribute the qualities lớn the ingredients used. Rice flour contains cellulose fiber, the thread-like part you find in plant material. The potato starch contains no fiber but does contain starch, which can act khổng lồ provide strength & resiliency.
Evaluate how easy it was lớn make the sheets. Mark an "X" in the box if you felt it was easy lớn make.
vì you think sheets made with only rice flour or only starch would look better? If so, why vị you think so?
Feel the smoothness of the surface of the sheets. Mark an "X" in the box if you feel the surface is smooth.
vì you think sheets made with only rice flour or only starch would feel smoother? If so, why vì you think so?
Bend your paper as if you were going to roll it. Place an "X" in the corresponding box if you feel your paper is flexible.
vị you think sheets made with only rice flour or only starch would be stronger? If so, why vày you think so?
Have a taste. Place an "X" in the corresponding box if you feel the paper that has a nice taste and mouth feel.
vì chưng you think sheets made with only rice flour or only starch would taste better or have a more pleasant feeling in your mouth? If so, why vì you think so?
Can you change the recipe & create one that is better than the best result you obtained with this recipe?

What Happened?

Did your edible paper fulfill most of the characteristics you tested?

Rice flour contains insoluble fibers called cellulose. These fibers make the sheets made of pure rice flour flexible, non-stretchy and strong, characteristics we associate with sheets of paper. It also makes for a rougher surface và feeling in the mouth.

Potato starch contains no fiber. Sheets made from pure starches are flexible và smooth but stretchy. It is also difficult lớn make a thin sheet with a paste made of only starches & water. These sheets bởi vì not show the characteristics we associate with paper because they vị not contain insoluble fiber.

The combination of the insoluble fibers from rice & the starches from potato starch as in the recipe used in this activity can create the desired outcome: a smooth surface on a strong, flexible, non-stretchy sheet. The reduced amount of fibers also provides a smoother feel in the mouth.


Digging Deeper

Paper is made up of plant fibers pressed together into a thin, flexible-but-strong mat. The fibers are from a material called cellulose, which gives plants their structural support. Cellulose is the thread-like component in grains, greens and other vegetables or fruits. It is also found in other plants as well. Wood also has a lot of cellulose; in fact, approximately 50 percent of the matter in wood is cellulose. Brown rice flour by comparison contains about 2 percent cellulose.

Cellulose has many qualities that make it an excellent material for creating paper. If it is soaked & then dried, it becomes a flexible, strong material. Evaluate an unwrinkled sheet of paper—which is essentially a mat of cellulose. How smooth is it? Can it be stretched? To thử nghiệm its flexibility, try rolling it into a tube. Khổng lồ evaluate its strength, try gently tearing a corner. Observe how much resistance the paper provides.

To make commercial paper strong, manufacturers also địa chỉ starches. Starches are sugars found in plants. When heated with a liquid, starches absorb the liquid, expand, and form a network of starch particles. This makes starches handy as a gluing and stiffening agent for paper.

Cellulose & starch are both edible, so homemade paper can be, too. (Of course, you wouldn"t want khổng lồ eat notebook or other store-bought paper because it is made with other chemicals.)


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For Further Exploration

Think of different uses for paper—from writing to lớn origami lớn food uses. What sorts of qualities are most important for each of those uses? Can you create a recipe that performs best for a specialized use? Use a food-color pen to write on the papers or color the paper with food coloring. Does the "ink" bleed? Can you find a recipe that is optimal for making edible paper lớn write on? Replace the ingredients with others that have a similar fiber content. For example, replace the potato starch with cornstarch or tapioca and/or the rice flour with wheat flour. How does a change of one ingredient change the paper"s characteristics ? Can you explain why this might happen?

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