Agar agar is a versatile and widely used hydrocolloid that is derived from seaweed. It is commonly used in the food, pharmaceutical, and microbiology industries. In this article, we will provide an overview of agar, including its properties, uses, raw materials, and production information.
Properties of Agar agar
It is a gelatinous substance that is transparent, odorless, tasteless, and can form a firm gel at low concentrations. Agar has excellent gelling properties, which makes it useful in a variety of applications. Its gelling properties depend on factors such as temperature, pH, and the presence of other substances. Agar has a high melting point, which means that it can be heated without losing its gelling properties. Additionally, agar is insoluble in cold water but can be dissolved in hot water.
Usage of Agar agar
In the food industry, agar is used as a gelling agent, stabilizer, and thickener. It is used in a variety of foods such as desserts, jellies, ice cream, and confectionery products. Agar is also used in the production of food additives such as emulsifiers, stabilizers, and thickeners.
In the pharmaceutical industry, agar is used in the production of medicines and cosmetics. It is used as a thickener and stabilizer in topical ointments and creams. Agar is also used as a suspending agent in liquid medications and as a binding agent in tablet formulations.
Raw Materials of Agar
Agar is extracted from various species of seaweed, including Gracilaria, Gelidium, and Pterocladia. These seaweeds are harvested from the ocean and processed to extract agar. The seaweed is washed to remove sand and other debris and then boiled to extract the agar. The resulting solution is then filtered, concentrated, and dried to form agar flakes or powder.
Production of Agar in China
China is the largest producer of agar in the world, accounting for over 70% of global production. The country has a long history of seaweed cultivation and agar production, with production dating back over 1,000 years.
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