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Chemical Name Agar

CAS Number 9002-18-0

Molecular FormulaN/A

Molecular WeightN/A

Category Standards; Food;


Agar - The Multi-Functional Gel

Are you looking for a versatile and cost-effective substance that can be used in a variety of applications? Look no further than Agar! Agar, also known as agar-agar, is a gelatinous substance derived from algae that has been used in many different ways for centuries. In this article, we'll explore the history and properties of Agar, as well as its many uses in the modern world.

What is Agar?

Agar is a polysaccharide that is extracted from certain species of red algae, primarily Gracilaria and Gelidium. It has been used in Asia for centuries as a food thickener, and more recently has found many other applications in science and industry. Agar is often used as a vegetarian alternative to gelatin, which is derived from animal products.

The History of Agar

Agar has been used in Japan since the 15th century as a food ingredient, and later as a gelling agent for laboratory work. It was first introduced to Europe in the 19th century, where it quickly gained popularity in microbiology and other scientific fields. Today, Agar is used in a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and more.

Properties of Agar

Agar has many unique properties that make it useful in a variety of applications. Here are a few of the most notable:


Agar is perhaps best known for its ability to form a gel when mixed with water and heated. This makes it useful in many food and beverage applications, as well as in laboratory work.


Agar is stable at high temperatures and in acidic or alkaline conditions, making it ideal for use in a wide range of products.


Agar is highly transparent when set, making it useful in many applications where visual clarity is important.

Low Calories

Agar has low caloric value, and does not contribute significantly to the nutritional content of foods.

Uses of Agar

Agar has many applications in the modern world, from food and beverage to scientific research. Here are a few of the most common uses:

Food and Beverage

Agar is commonly used as a thickener, stabilizer, and gelling agent in many different types of food and beverage products. Some examples include:

  • Jellies and jams
  • Puddings
  • Ice cream
  • Soups and gravies
  • Cheese
  • Beverages


Agar is widely used in microbiology as a growth medium for bacteria and other microorganisms. The gel-like texture of Agar makes it ideal for immobilizing microorganisms and allowing them to grow in a controlled environment.


Agar is used in many cosmetic products, such as lotions, creams, and hair gels. It provides a thickening and stabilizing effect, as well as a smooth and silky texture.


Agar is used in many pharmaceutical products, such as capsules and tablets. It can also be used as a thickening agent in liquid medications.


Agar is used in biotechnology as a matrix for growing cells and tissues in a controlled environment. It is also used in DNA electrophoresis, a technique used to separate and analyze DNA fragments.

FAQs about Agar

What is the difference between Agar and Gelatin?

Agar is derived from algae, while gelatin is derived from animal products. Agar is also vegan-friendly and has a higher melting point than gelatin.

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