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Basic molecular structure of agar. Source CyberColloids (2004)

agar structure

Prepared at the 49th JECFA (1997), published in FNP 52 Add 5 superseding specifications prepared at the 44th JECFA (1995), published in FNP 52 Add 3 (1995). An ADI 'not limited' was established at the 17th JECFA (1973)

Products: konjac, carrageenan, agar

Products are sold under the tradenames: CongelK

Andi Johnson Group

Biosynth Carbosynth offer an impressive collection of specialty chemicals and offer custom chemical production. They manufacture and source chemical and biochemical products and in the carbohdyrate field offer monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. They also specialise in nucleosides, antimicrobials, APIs, enzyme substrates and natural products.

This is a soft icing recipe with minimal flow suitable for doughnuts.  Agar is a gelatinous substance extracted from red algae which is often used in Asian desserts.

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 231/2012 of 9 March 2012


Gelose; Kanten, Bengal, Ceylon, Chinese or Japanese isinglass; Layor Carang

Products: agar, carrageenan, konjac, meat product solution, gummy candy powder, jelly powder, thickening agent


Products: agar, carrageenan 
Their products are sold under the tradenames: Secogel, Secolacta, Ibergel

Hydrocolloids can be obtained from a wide variety of sources. The two most abundant polysaccharides are cellulose and starch. Cellulose is the key structural component of trees and is used on a huge scale globally in the pulp and paper industry.


Agar, more correctly known as agar-agar, has been used in the East for several hundred years and certainly since the seventeenth century. Agar is traditionally claimed to have been discovered by Tarazaemon Minoya in 1658 in Japan.


Agar producing seaweeds are available from a wide variety of sources (table 1). Agar weeds are typically wild harvested although commercial farms have been used in Chile and Namibia.


Agar gels due to the presence of the agarose fraction in the crude agar at typical concentrations between 0.5% and 2.0%. Unlike carrageenan agar does not require the presence of any particular ions to gel.

Araki CH, Acetylation of agar like substance of Gelidium amansii, J Chem Soc Japan, 58, pp1338-1350 (1937)

Furneaux RH, Miller IJ, Stevenson TT, Agaroids from New Zealand....- a novel dimethylated agar, Hydrobiologia 204/205, pp645-654 (1990)


The original structure of agar was was believed to be a simple sulphated poly galactose. However in in 1937 Araki showed that agar consisted of at least two separate polymers that could be fractionated. One was called agarose and the other agaropectin. Essentially agarose is the gelling fraction of agar.

Low fat yogurt requires the use of stabilisers to enhance the texture and creaminess of the product. The most common stabilisers used are: gelatine (100 - 250 bloom, 0.2 - 0.5%), pectin (0.05 – 0.20%), modified starch (0.5 – 2.0%), alginate (0.25 – 0.50%), agar (0.8 - 1.1%), carrageenan (0.05 – 0.20%) (Hui, 2007).

Seaweed derived extracts makes up almost 40% of the worlds hydrocolloid market in foods. Carrageenan is the most important seaweed extract with the largest markets being in pet food, dairy and meats. Agar is largely a traditional foodstuff produced in Asia for the local market.

Products: agar,chitosan
Marine Hydrocolloids (formerly Marine Chemicals) produces agar for food, bacteriological & pharmaceutical applications. In 1997 Meron Biopolymers was established to develop Chitin and Chitosan.

Chitosan -

Agar -

Products: agar, carrageenan, depolymerised alginate, partially hydrolysed guar gum

Founded as Myeong Shin Chemical Ind Co Ltd in 1974 which changed its name to MSC Co Ltd in 1997

Products: gum arabic, agar
Their products are sold under the tradenames: Quick gum, Quick fibre, Bio-agar

Alfred L. Wolff, was acquired by Norevo GmbH in February, 2010

Products: agar 
Their products are sold under the tradenames: Swallow Globe Brand


Dried Gracilaria used in agar production (2004)


Products: agar, carrageenan, konjac, alginate

Yantai Sheli Hydrocolloids Co., Ltd., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kam Yuen International Company