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The Application and Development Prospects of Agar Agar in Food

The Application and Development Prospects of Agar Agar in Food

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Abstract

Agar-agar is a class of algal gums extracted from red algae plants, and agar is composed of agarose and agar pectin. Agar has an extremely useful and unique property in the application of food industry.

It has the following characteristics: coagulability, stability, ability to form complexes with some substances and other physicochemical properties, and can be used as a thickener, coagulant, suspending agent, emulsifier, preservative and stabilizer.  It is widely used in the manufacture of grain orange and various beverages, jelly, ice cream, pastry, soft candy, canned food, meat products, porridge, cold food and so on.

The Application and Development Prospects of Agar Agar in Food (2)

What is Agar Agar?

what is agar agar

Agar is composed of agarose and agar pectin, and agar powder is a kind of algae gel extracted from Gracilaria and other red algae plants, which 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, chemical industry, textile, national defense, biological research and other fields, and is internationally known as "novel East Asian products".

Agar is insoluble in cold water, easily soluble in boiling water, slowly soluble in hot water. The gel strength test method is that 1.5% agar powder solution is solidified at 20 degrees Celsius, and the maximum pressure that the surface can bear without breaking is 800-1200g/cm2.  When the experiment encounters agar powder that does not solidify, the conventional test methods are pH, concentration, temperature, and adequate mixing.

1. The Application and Prospects of Agar Agar in Food

1.1 Application of Agar Agar in Food Industry

Agar has an extremely useful and unique property in food industry applications. Its characteristics include coagulability, stability, ability to form complexes with some substances and other physical and chemical properties, which can be used as thickener, coagulant, suspending agent, emulsifier, preservative and stabilizer. It is widely used in the manufacture of grain orange and various beverages, jelly, ice cream, pastry, soft candy, canned food, meat products, porridge, cold food and so on.

1.2 Application of Agar in Meat Products

As an auxiliary material for meat products, agar powder has the properties of improving the quality and protecting the flavor of meat products. The addition of agar powder to mackerel surimi gel can increase its strength and make its structure uniform and dense, thus agar powder can improve the characteristics of mackerel surimi gel.

Agar Agar in Meat Products

The addition of agar powder can increase the oil retention rate and decrease the water activity and brightness value of smoked sausage, but it has no effect on the yield, texture and water retention rate of sausage. Agar powder has strong setting ability for canned meat, so that the cans can still maintain stable coagulation ability after autoclaving, and can also improve the quality of the cans and prevent wall hanging.

1.3 Application of Agar in Confectionary Industry

Agar Agar in Confectionery (1)

Agar is a kind of high molecular polysaccharide substance with galactose as the main component, which is one of the main auxiliary materials of agar gummy.

Agar in the confectionery industry mainly relies on its gel characteristics to make soft candy, with high water content, transparency, softness, elasticity and long shelf life. Agar is easily destroyed in an acidic environment under high-temperature conditions, so some scholars use agar mixed with other gels to make soft candy, and its quality is better than single agar powder.

1.4 Application of Agar Agar in Other Food Industries

Agar can be used as a suspending agent in beverage production, with the characteristics of making the solids evenly suspended for a long time, improving the transparency of the beverage, increasing the fluidity, making the taste smooth and extending the shelf life. Agar concentration at 0.001%~0.005% can make the fruit particles suspended evenly. 0.3% agar powder can improve the viscosity and swelling rate of ice cream and make the tissue state better. Agar can be used as a shortening agent, softening agent and water retention agent in baked goods, and the best use amount is 0.1%~1.0%.

Agar has special gelling properties, especially significant solidity, and hysteresis, and it is easy to absorb water and has a special stabilizing effect; it has been widely used in edible, pharmaceutical, chemical, textile, national defense and other fields.

2. Development Prospects of Agar

Agar is widely used in many fields such as food industry, pharmaceutical industry, daily chemical industry and biological engineering.

Besides, agar itself is rich in water-soluble food fiber, which has health effects such as detoxification, blood sugar and blood lipid reduction, and has become a new favorite in the food market.

The development of agar industry has promoted the rapid development of agar-like seaweed farming, solved a large number of labor jobs and promoted the growth of rural economy.  

In addition, the algae digest the carbon, ammonia, phosphorus, sulfur and other nutrients in seawater through their own photosynthesis, thus maintaining the balance of marine ecological environment and promoting the farming of other economic animals such as shellfish.

So agar has a broad development prospect.

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About Gino Biotech
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We are a biotech company specialized in the research, development and commercialization of innovative and technological food additives hydrocolloids Agar Agar, Carrageenan and Tailor-Made Stabilizer Solutions.

With the extended know-how and experience in the research, application and use of Hydrocolloids, we could provide one-stop-shop customized solutions perfectly matched to the needs of our customers.

Our products cover the needs of the Meat, Dairy, Bakery, Confectionery and other industrial sectors.

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