noun[mass noun] Chemistry
An insoluble gelatinous carbohydrate found (chiefly as salts) in many brown seaweeds. The sodium salt is used as a thickener in foods and many other materials.
- Food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries use three common types of hydrocolloid extensively when thickening or gelling properties are required: carrageenan and agar from red seaweeds and alginic acid from brown seaweeds.
- Under similar conditions the polysaccharides with carboxyl groups, such as alginic acid and polygalacturonic acid, also photodecomposed.
- Their main component, alginic acid, is converted into calcium salts (which are water-insoluble) and sodium salts (which are water-soluble).
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