Originally Posted by Duffgc
Can I ask what you mean by "contaminated"? I just started trying my hand at gum paste and I bought a ready-made package of Wilton gum paste. The directions say to "lightly grease the work surface with vegetable shortening" when rolling it out and also when kneading...is that incorrect?
What I meant by contaminated is the fact that dust, cornstarch, oils from your hands, petal dusts, etc. get mixed into the gumpaste. Even if you keep your hands very clean at all times, other things get into the paste. You will really start to notice dust in white gumpaste. It's amazing how something so small will look so large when you are working with gumpaste. The dust will sometimes cause you to have "hairs" sticking out of your cut edges. The cornstarch or powdered sugar will cause the gumpaste to dry more quickly and when mixed with fresh, this all becomes one batch of not so clean gumpaste.
I had heard a story about a person making dolls had not kept their hands completely clean and the bacteria that is on all skin caused the heads to burst. The bacteria fed on the sugar, expanded, and literally blew the heads off the dolls!! This story came from the person who did it. I won't say the name. Besides, it was many years ago.
Sorry if I made you worry.