cupncakes35 Posted 17 Dec 2013 , 10:47pm

AI have read alot of information on here about how disco dust contains or is plastic. Here's where I am confused at. When you look on instagram the majority of cakes and cupcakes and cakepops topped off with disco dust. I have seen apples, strawberries, cakepops (gem pops) and other things. Are people just paying to have these things sit on the dessert table and not be eating or are people pushing this off, like it can be eaten? Dont get me wrong, its very beautiful, but how are customers getting warned about this?

82 replies
-K8memphis Posted 17 Dec 2013 , 11:10pm

it's up to each individual decorator and baker to advise their clients and maintain high standards with safety first

kakeladi Posted 17 Dec 2013 , 11:56pm

Many people are mistaken to believe that just because something is available in a cake supply shop it is edible :(

As the other poster said, it is up to each decorator to deciede what they use on or in their cakes.  Each person has to educate themselves and make up their own mind as to what to use and what not.  How will/would you feel if you found out someone at a party where you supplied the cake got sick or even worse died because of having used disco dust on it?  People who have compromised imune systems or allergies could!  Some people with allergies might not ever realize that what they are sensitive to is contained in  disco dust.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 10:19am

I'm not sure if people are being told tbh.  They could be using fully edible glitters but I have don't a lot of hunting around and so far am yet to find a fully edible glitter with the same sparkle as the 'non-toxic' (but also technically inedible) glitters.

 

Until about 2 (?) years ago, these glitters were sold everywhere in cake shops and food sections of the craft shops in the UK and you would regularly see them sprinkled on cupcakes etc.  Then the issue came up in a national TV show (a contestant used glitter dust and the judge asked if it was edible) and all of a sudden, all shelves were emptied.  The pots said 'non-toxic' on them and so people assumed it was safe to eat...apparently not the case.  Back then, I was just baking for myself and family and I have to say, I used them (and ate it) and I'm still here ;-) but certainly wouldn't do so now.  I have used them for cakes since (to make numbers on birthday cakes sparkle for example) but specify on the order form that these items should be removed before eating.

 

It is slightly strange though as you make flowers our of flowerpaste and paint them with petal dust to create 'completely edible' sugar flowers...yet looking at my petal dust, it just says that it is 'non-toxic' as well! hmmm...

dukeswalker Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 2:22pm

Does anyone know what is actually in it?

AnnieCahill Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 2:40pm

Plastic.  It's finely ground plastic glitter.  Yum!

MimiFix Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 3:02pm

It doesn't matter how much info is out there explaining the potential dangers of using these products; many people simply don't care. I've written about this twice Non-Toxic Does Not = Edible but still get inquiries about where to purchase and how much to charge. 

justdesserts Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 3:36pm

Earlier this year, I was on a recipe sharing site. Someone posted a recipe for homemade "Glamor Peeps." You piped the homemade marshmallow mixture into the shape of peeps, and then COVERED them in disco dust. Aaaaaahhhh. I commented on the recipe saying that Disco Dust is not edible and is a plastic glitter. Just went back to the site recently and my comment had been removed and the recipe is still there. Yay. :???:

cupncakes35 Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 5:51pm

AWow, I really wonder what the decorators tell the customers. If they even tell them at all. All of the work looks so beautiful.

kristenmbatt Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 5:59pm

I just realized it is not non-toxic as well. I never used it before but see it all over cake pops in pictures. Guess I will not be using it for that purpose. I had a bride ask for it on a ribbon on a Styrofoam tier, now that I know it is not safe to eat I feel like I should not have bought it and might as well have bought glitter at the craft store. Ugh.

kristenmbatt Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 6:00pm

Omg, that's horrible about the blogger removing the comment that it's not edible!

-K8memphis Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 6:04pm

when disco dust first came out or when i became aware of it years ago--it clearly said, 'not edible' so i never got into it--

 

yeah it's still sold all over--

 

most all of these products are clearly labeled--

FromScratchSF Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 6:21pm

You see it all over Pinterest because Pinterest is FULL of fake styled shoots.  That's the way wedding coordinators advertise - they call a florist, a cake maker, a dress ship, a tux shop, a linen shop etc, get a venue, set it up and and its a photo shoot, 100% completely fake.  They take the pictures and submit them to all the big wedding blogs and magazines and hope they get picked up.  It's the new way to get "published".  If you see a cake or dessert on Pinterest and it's perfectly lite uo, sitting on an antique sideboard in the middle of the forest, you are looking at a fake photos hoot.

 

Bloggers do it too - I've seen countless blogs by "big names" that basically make a "recipe", photograph it and put it on the internet.  All they need is a photo of something that sort of looks like what they were trying to blog about and BOOM.  Done. Count the money.

 

This past Thanksgiving I was looking for a twist on a pumpkin pie.  I came across a VERY popular blog that each entry had over 300 comments on every entry.  It had a recipe for a no-bake pumpkin pie.  I had every "ingredient" in my pantry so I gave it a try.  Not only was it one of the worst things I've put in my mouth, it looked NOTHING like all the pretty, perfectly lighted, perfectly styled slices of pie photos all over that blog.  I stopped reading the comments after 200 or so because all they said was "OMGYOUARESOSMARTBESTIDEAEVARCANTWAITOTRY".  Not a single, "THIS IS DISGUSTING AND A FAKE RECIPE"

 

Pinterest used to be a great idea - but it's just a big fake advertising board for magazines, wedding coordinators, and bloggers to fill people's heads with ideas of stuff that is completely unobtainable and fake - and it also shows them all the fake, dangerous, poisonous stuff people can "eat" because they saw it on Pinterest,

 

One last truth here - I used used be really into photography back in the day of using real film.  I took a semester on food styling.  The very 1st project?  Breakfast cereal.  Know what they use as milk on breakfast cereal in photo shoots and commercials?  ELMER'S GLUE.  It photographs much better, doesn't make the project soggy and gets to the perfect consistency once the studio lights shine on it and warm it up.

 

And disco dust is plastic craft glitter.  You can save yourself a mint by buying a coffee grinder and just buy tubs of the stuff at Michaels.  Same stuff.

-K8memphis Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 6:45pm

all that's true plus--

 

i worked at a place that used it liberally 

 

in fact it was the crowning glory addition put on by the owner--omg omg omg

Norasmom Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 7:03pm

Truly talented decorators do not need disco dust to make their cakes shine!!!

Apti Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 7:34pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflakebunny23 
 

 

Until about 2 (?) years ago, these glitters were sold everywhere in cake shops and food sections of the craft shops in the UK and you would regularly see them sprinkled on cupcakes etc.  Then the issue came up in a national TV show (a contestant used glitter dust and the judge asked if it was edible) and all of a sudden, all shelves were emptied.  The pots said 'non-toxic' on them and so people assumed it was safe to eat...apparently not the case.  Back then, I was just baking for myself and family and I have to say, I used them (and ate it) and I'm still here ;-) but certainly wouldn't do so now.  I have used them for cakes since (to make numbers on birthday cakes sparkle for example) but specify on the order form that these items should be removed before eating.

Here is a link to an article about "GlitterGate":  "Storm in a cupcake: How Miranda star sparked pandemonium after question over 'edible glitter' she used on Great British Bake Off reveals it's 'not to be consumed"

 

Excerpt:  "For years, cake glitter has been sold in pots labelled either ‘edible’ or ‘non-toxic’.Edible glitter is made from starch-based food products that can be digested by the body.   Non-toxic glitter is manufactured from plastic and is not digestible."

 

Excerpt:  "....prompted so much panic among viewers that ‘edible glitter’ has now been registered as one of the top ten food concerns in Britain by the Food Standards Agency."

 
* * * * * * *
 
Snowflakebunnny23~~I'm a hobby baker since 2010 and was SO excited about Disco dust!  LOVED IT!  After reading and researching, I now have about 10 containers that I can't even give away in good conscience.
 
MBalaska Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 8:15pm

Disco dust....when this question comes up I always picture (in my tiny frozen gray matter)  Crayola Crayons and Yellow Writing chalk on top of a cake for decorations,

(like elmers glue) they are NON-TOXIC. :cake:

jason_kraft Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 8:53pm

APlay-doh is also non-toxic.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 8:55pm

A@Apti - that's the one! I was however very surprised that it was still being sold by some stands at cake international...I think they were the ones with the updated labels but still, makes you realise why people get confused. Love the name the media gave it, 'Glittergate' :-)

howsweet Posted 18 Dec 2013 , 8:56pm

AApti, it's true, I guess most don't realize copy writers gotta write and bloggers gotta blog. Or they don't get paid. Once you approach it from that angle, it's much each to navigate through the news, yahoo and pinterest. I have found some great recipes on pinterest. But no one can come up with great new recipes constantly. It's a shame they get paid to act like they can.

Cakepro Posted 19 Dec 2013 , 3:09am

I take issue with those who say that it's up to each decorator to decide.

 

No, actually, it is NOT.

 

There is a "bakery" in my area that is owned by a woman who told her employees that the FDA gave her special approval to use Disco Dust.  One of those employees went to the health department and the HD went directly to the FDA.  The FDA of course said that it is not an edible product, and last year, the health inspectors hand-delivered cease and desist letters to all of the bakeries in our area (including mine).  

 

Even in light of this, I still see local cake decorators, cake ball/pop, cookie, and cupcake people putting this garbage on their cakes, cookies, cake pops, etc. and frankly, I have nothing but contempt for them because they have decided that they know better when in fact, they could be doing great harm to the people who trust them to provide them with safe, edible goods.

 

[WARNING: GROSS ALERT]   My mom and daughter recently went to a Swarovski event (my mom buys a lot of Swarovski), and they were given big buckets of beautiful, sparkly peppermint popcorn.  My mom asked me a few days after the event to take a look at the popcorn because she wanted to know what was in it.  There was a liberal application of Disco Dust and...well...my mom was pretty startled when she pooped glitter.  Unfortunately, there was no manufacturer information on the popcorn.  I wonder what the other popcorn-eating patrons thought of their pretty sparkly poops.  LOL

 

It's just sad that this is even an issue.  So many people are unscrupulous. 

howsweet Posted 19 Dec 2013 , 3:45am

Awww, c'mon now, how bad can it be if it makes you poop glitter? :lol:

 

Can you pm me who that was?   Is that why it was such a big deal in Texas last year? I can't believe I never got the low down! I'm so out of the loop...

tomsann Posted 19 Dec 2013 , 4:08am

As an old retired cake decorator I have seen so very many changes in products...But not in what

customers want....They want sparkle for a child's birthday, they want metallic silver for a 25th anniversary, they want metallic gold for a 50th....So back in the day you used plastic pieces that were easily removed. Big plastic silver and gold scrolls or numbers etc.....strings of beads that were removed...

 

Then things changed and the concept of everything had to be "edible".....o.k. that's fine but customers still want silver and gold and glitter etc. Cake shows and contests started using gum paste, gelatin, fondant and actually at first I was told/taught you could use non-toxic artist chalks, scrape them into a power and use that for gum paste flowers..the cake supply companies then came out with the petal dusts/luster dusts etc...And seriously when you do gum paste flowers they are edible but would you sit and eat your flowers????  The big thing is "Wow" these flowers are made from a sugar product..Otherwise you could just use silk ones, right? Cheaper, easier but you don't get the wow of a talented cake decorator....or the pay that an accomplished cake decorator gets for a 100% edible cake....

 

Next the magazines etc started showing all the "bling"....do you use rhinestones all over...No customers and cake shows and contests wanted edible....you make isomalt jems..If you use the 100% edible glitter that is either corn starch or gum arabic you don't the "bling" the customer wants...The cake industry comes out with Disco Dust..I have yet to see a actual complete ingredient list for any of the petal, luster, pearl or disco dusts and even on Wiltons lusters it has a warning on the label because of the mica (pearlescent)...Same with Americolor sheen colors. Theirs are FDA approved but it's the exact same ingredient....Same with pearlized sugar pearls...So what do you tell customers...If you want that look..The sparkle the metallic gold and silver you will be using something that is non-toxic but not edible...It is not a food group...it is like make-up, crayons, play dough etc...Is it going to kill you?  no...should you remove it?  probably....OR we can use ribbon and plastic pearls and plastic embellishments....Or we can use grey as silver, yellow as gold and regular sugar crystals and edible glitter but it won't look like what you want..... It's something I just don't think is going to go away until retro cakes are the "in thing"   The big plastic staircases with the bridesmaids figurines and lots of ribbons and bows or Monsanto can make sparkley corn..:)    Sorry for being so long winded...

dukeswalker Posted 19 Dec 2013 , 4:24am

I'm not sure how I missed this whole thing until now but it has me concerned....I have a client who LOVES LOVES LOVES disco dust and sparkle and bling and disco dust!!!!! Has anyone ever been able to get ahold of an ingredient list for Disco Dust?  Is it really just plastic?  Ewwwww!  

MBalaska Posted 19 Dec 2013 , 4:47am

Quote:

Originally Posted by tomsann 
 

As an old retired cake decorator I have seen so very many changes in products...But not in what

customers want....They want sparkle for a child's birthday, they want metallic silver for a 25th anniversary, they want metallic gold for a 50th....So back in the day you used plastic pieces that were easily removed. Big plastic silver and gold scrolls or numbers etc.....strings of beads that were removed...

 

Then things changed and the concept of everything had to be "edible".....o.k. that's fine but customers still want silver and gold and glitter etc. Cake shows and contests started using gum paste, gelatin, fondant and actually at first I was told/taught you could use non-toxic artist chalks, scrape them into a power and use that for gum paste flowers..the cake supply companies then came out with the petal dusts/luster dusts etc...And seriously when you do gum paste flowers they are edible but would you sit and eat your flowers????  The big thing is "Wow" these flowers are made from a sugar product..Otherwise you could just use silk ones, right? Cheaper, easier but you don't get the wow of a talented cake decorator....or the pay that an accomplished cake decorator gets for a 100% edible cake....

 

Next the magazines etc started showing all the "bling"....do you use rhinestones all over...No customers and cake shows and contests wanted edible....you make isomalt jems..If you use the 100% edible glitter that is either corn starch or gum arabic you don't the "bling" the customer wants...The cake industry comes out with Disco Dust..I have yet to see a actual complete ingredient list for any of the petal, luster, pearl or disco dusts and even on Wiltons lusters it has a warning on the label because of the mica (pearlescent)...Same with Americolor sheen colors. Theirs are FDA approved but it's the exact same ingredient....Same with pearlized sugar pearls...So what do you tell customers...If you want that look..The sparkle the metallic gold and silver you will be using something that is non-toxic but not edible...It is not a food group...it is like make-up, crayons, play dough etc...Is it going to kill you?  no...should you remove it?  probably....OR we can use ribbon and plastic pearls and plastic embellishments....Or we can use grey as silver, yellow as gold and regular sugar crystals and edible glitter but it won't look like what you want..... It's something I just don't think is going to go away until retro cakes are the "in thing"   The big plastic staircases with the bridesmaids figurines and lots of ribbons and bows or Monsanto can make sparkley corn..:)    Sorry for being so long winded...

Yup, it's never enough.  Pretty soon they'll want REAL Gold Silver and Platinum like the Kings and Queens of Old. Gold leaf

And I'll still be making booring cakes for small town folks.:roll:

tomsann Posted 19 Dec 2013 , 4:54am

;-D exactly....or maybe do contests with what looks the yummiest...

I saw a recipe today for chocolate lasagna that made my mouth water.....oreo cookies, pudding, whipping cream and on and on....to die for...:)

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