The Application and Development Prospects of Agar Agar in Food
Agar Agar in Food
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 the 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 oranges and various beverages, jelly, ice cream, pastry, soft candy, canned food, meat products, porridge, cold food, and so on.
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, the chemical industry, textile, national defense, biological research, and other fields, and is internationally known as a "novel East Asia product".
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 oranges 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.
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 a 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 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 the 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 the agar industry has promoted the rapid development of agar-like seaweed farming, solved a large number of labor jobs, and promoted the growth of the 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 the 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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