Agar powder is a kind of alginate extracted from cauliflower and other red algae plants.
It has a history of more than 300 years in China and Japan. Because of its special gel properties, it has been widely used in food, medicine, chemicals, textiles, national defense, biological research and other fields, and is internationally known as “novel East Asian products”.
What is agar – agar exactly?
Agar – agar is a substance extracted from a red algae. It’s actually the component that forms the cellular structure in these plants. When extracted, you get a fine powder that forms a gelatinous texture when in contact with a liquid and heated.
It’s easy to see why this property has many uses to change food texture, but agar is much more than that.
To say agar – agar changed the way we see food would be an understatement; it is an authentic food revolution with unlimited uses in and out of the food industry.
Japan is where the algae compound was discovered, and it’s still an important agar producer, but you can now find agar – agar everywhere in the world.
Agar consists of agarose and agar pectin. Agarose, as a gelling agent, is a nonionic polysaccharide without sulfate (salt), which is a component forming gel.
Its macromolecular chain links are alternately connected by 1,3 glycosidic bonds β- D-pyranosyl galactose residues and 3,6- α- L-pyranosyl galactose residue.
Agar pectin is a non gel part, a complex polysaccharide with sulfate (salt), glucuronic acid and pyruvic aldehyde, which is also the part that is tried to be removed in commercial extraction. In industry, the color of agar ranges from white to slightly yellow, with a glial sensation, no odor or slight characteristic odor.
Agar is insoluble in cold water, easily soluble in boiling water, and slowly soluble in hot water.
As for the purpose of agar, firstly, agar is nutrient free, which means that even microorganisms do not decompose it (although agar belongs to sugar).
Therefore, it is commonly used as a biological culture medium or some drug carriers. In addition, it is more widely used in the food industry as a thickener and coagulant. Agar melts at around 90 degrees and solidifies at around 40 degrees.
It is also added to commonly eaten jellies and jelly, making it harmless. Suspension agents, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and preservatives can also be used.
It is widely used to manufacture granular orange and various drinks, jellies, ice cream, cakes, soft sweets, cans, meat products, Babao Congee, tremella and bird’s nest, soup food and cold food.
Carrageenan is composed of polysaccharide sulfate salt formed by carrageenan, galactose and dehydrated galactose, and 3.6 dehydrated galactose linear chain polymer. The powdered carrageenan is stable and will not undergo hydrolysis even when heated.
Carrageenan has good milk protein reaction ability, which can prevent the phenomenon of whey separation after adding CMC. The purpose of ham sausage minced meat products: After using this product, it can make the product elastic, sliced well, with moderate toughness and crispness, and tender, smooth and refreshing.
Application in cold drink food: Carrageenan has good milk protein reaction ability, which can prevent the imagination of whey separation due to the addition of CMC.
Application in gummy food: Carrageenan gummy has good transparency, bright, uniform, smooth color, low viscosity, and crispy taste.
Application in dairy products: Carrageenan can cause milk to coagulate and form. It plays a suspension and stabilization role in cocoa milk, cocoa malt extract, and cocoa candy paste.
In yogurt, soft cheese, and cream, a milky mixture can be stabilized to induce the formation of gelation.
Use in Baijiu and beer: it can be used as clarifying agent or foam stabilizer.
Use in artificial protein fiber and artificial meat: Carrageenan and sodium alginate are added in the ingredient process, so protein does not need to undergo aging process. Protein solution with low concentration or without purification can also be used for spinning, and it can also improve the strength and water absorption of spinning.
When artificial protein fibers are further used to produce artificial meat, carrageenan can also be used as an adhesive.