What are algal polysaccharides?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Algal polysaccharides, or seaweed gums, are derived from brown seaweeds, such as alginates, and red seaweeds, such as agar and carrageenan, which is also known as Irish moss. Alginates form insoluble gels that are used as emulsifiers, thickeners, and binders in food production. Agar forms a gel that is soluble in hot water but not cold water. Agar is used as a culture medium for microbes as well as a stabilizer in many food items. Carrageenan can be broken into components that do and do not form gels. Carrageenan is used in many food items to thicken them and create a smooth texture.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.