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Juicy Fruit Spaghetti and Popping Boba

Here’s your opportunity to bring science into the kitchen with this fun dessert dish that features the polymerization of sodium alginate and calcium chloride.

| September 2019

Challenge level: 3
Time: 1 hour hands-on, plus 2 hours to overnight refrigeration
Yield: 3/4 cup (175 ml) fruit juice/sodium alginate mixture for making boba or fruit spaghetti

Use technology adapted from scientific research labs to polymerize tasty fruit spaghetti and popping boba.


  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) fruit juice, such as mango/orange juice (no added calcium)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sodium alginate
  • 2 teaspoons calcium chloride
  • 4 cups (946 ml) water, plus extra


  • 2 large bowls
  • Blender, hand blender, or wire whisk
  • Medium bowl
  • Mixing spoon or whisk
  • Slotted spoon
  • Squeeze bottle or medium to large syringe


Pour 3/4 cup fruit juice into a medium bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will help dissolve the alginate in step 2.

Blend or whisk the cold juice and sprinkle the sodium alginate into the agitated liquid. Mix well, trying to minimize bubbles. The liquid may thicken slightly.

Blend sodium alginate into juice.

Put the liquid in the refrigerator and let it sit for 2 hours to overnight, to remove bubbles.

When the alginate mixture is ready, fill a large bowl with water.

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