tapioca starch

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by severian, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. severian

    severian Member

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    Anybody using or heard of an albumen formula using tapioca starch? I dont know how much of it goes where but the source was reliable but vanished quickly into a crowd. Tapioca starch??????
    JackB
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Reilly discusses the use of wheat starch as an archival mounting method for albumen in his book at albumen.stanford.net, but I'm not sure about tapioca.
     
  3. garysamson

    garysamson Member

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    David,
    Zoe Zimmerman has developed a formula for matte albumen prints which is quite beautiful but she would not give up the ingredients when I asked her at her workshop which I attended a couple of years ago. Some have speculated that her albumen solution includes tapioca starch.
    Gary
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Interesting. Come to think of it, I've heard of cornstarch used to make matte albumen prints, but not tapioca.
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Tapioca is a very transparent thickening agent when cooked. Rice, and corn starch will be more of a opaque quality. some other types that might also work are agar-agar, and arrowroot. What I find interesting is that they have similar qualities to gelatine. Is this used as a treatment to precoat the paper? Or is it mixed in with the sensitizer?
     
  6. severian

    severian Member

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    tapioca

    Gary,
    It was Zoe Zimmerman who told me about the tapioca starch. I assume it goes in the albumen. Experiments are in order but where do you get tapioca starch?
    Jack B
     
  7. severian

    severian Member

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    pre coat

    Aggie,
    I don't know where it goes but I'm thinking that if it's purpose is to make the print more matte then it probably is used to pre coat the paper. Agree or disagree?
    Jack
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Somewhere on albumen.stanford.edu, there is some info on where the cornstarch goes to make a matte albumen print, and I'd guess the tapioca starch would go in the same place. I'd think it would be mixed with the albumen.
     
  9. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Any grocery store, near the pudding mixes. It comes in beads, which wouldn't be very suitable, but I'd expect a few seconds in a blender at high speed would convert the beads into a fine dust that would disperse or dissolve well in water. If you search around in a larger store, you might actually find tapioca starch in powder form as well, since it's used in that form in most puddings that don't have the distinctive bead texture of classic tapioca pudding.
     
  10. Poptart

    Poptart Member

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    Hi everyone, n00b here.

    The tapioca, my guess, is used to size the paper as in gum printing. It may help the albumen adhere better to the paper base so that doesn't just wash away.
     
  11. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    National Starch or TIC gums have those
    If you are in the US they'll even send you a small sample (200g or so) if you ask nicely :wink:

     
  12. hortense

    hortense Member

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    Tapioca Flour

    Yes, I have heard of Tapioca. I use it as as substitute to avoid my wheat allergy. Wheat starch is the "white stuff" most people call flour. But there are many types of flours. For example, wheat, corn (and corn starch), tapioca, and arrow root. It is the gluten in these flours that do the job for you guys that make your own old time (exotic?) photographic papers.
     
  13. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Tapioca, tapioca flour, and tapioca starch are all different and are not the same substance. You should be able to get tapioca starch in a health food market.
     
  14. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Actually, Hortense, it's probably the gluten that causes problems for you, if you're allergic to wheat. Starch is pretty much starch when it's really pure. However, starches derived from vegetable sources aren't usually very pure; you can get potato starch (usually sold for laundry), arrowroot and corn starch (sold for baking) and wheat starch without the gluten (usually sold as library paste or old-style wallpaper paste), even rice starch (mostly used, AFAIK, in making fireworks); I think I've even seen sago palm starch once or twice, but none are quite identical to tapioca starch because they have different impurities and adjuncts to the starch. There are also variations in chain length (starch is essentially a long-chain polymer of a simple sugar, dextrose IIRC), which govern how soluble the starch is in water and how much it hardens when cooked and dried.

    Gerald is probably correct -- the tapioca pearls sold for making pudding are mostly starch, but probably have "stuff" in them that would be undesirable in a sizing for paper used in alt processes. FWIW, arrowroot starch is readily obtainable in better grocery stores (it's a hifalutin substitute for corn starch in certain baking/confectionery applications), and is the recommended sizing for some processes such as cyanotype; it'd be where I'd start if I needed tapioca starch and couldn't find it.