Agar Agar is a substance made from red algae that is similar to look like jelly. It forms the supporting structure in the cell walls of certain species of algae known as agarophytes, which belong to the Rhodophyta or red algae phylum. It is released on boiling of these algae.
Agar Agar is a mixture of two components that include agarose, which is a linear polysaccharide and a heterogeneous mixture of smaller molecules called agaropectin.
Uses of Agar Agar:
Agar Agar is a counterpart of natural vegetable gelatin. It looks white and semi-translucent when sold as washed and dried strips or in powdered form in packages. There are many uses of Agar Agar. It is also used as a solid substrate to contain culture media for microbiological work. Agar Agar can be used as a laxative, a vegetarian substitute for gelatin, a thickener for soups, an appetite suppressant, in fruit preserves, ice cream, and other desserts, as a clarifying agent in brewing, and for sizing paper and fabrics.
- Agar Agar can serve as an intestinal regulator as Agar Agar contain 80 percent of dietary fiber.
- Agar Agar gets triples in size and absorbs water once ingested and hence it makes the consumer feeling fuller. So, it can be used to reduce weight.
- It can be used as an ingredient in many desserts such as jellies, puddings, and custards. It is boiled in water until the solids dissolve while making jelly.
- Agar Agar is an nonorganic and nonsynthetic additive that is used as a thickener, gelling agent, moisturizer, emulsifier, flavor enhancer, texturizer and absorbent in certified organic foods.
- A mix of agar agar and other nutrients are used in an agar plate to provide a growth medium for microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, those can be cultured and observed under the microscope.
- As solid agar plates can support microbial growth when supplemented with appropriate nutrients, it is used in the culture and detection of pathogens from contaminated food and water.
- Agar Agar is one of the most common basic media for gel electrophoresis, gel bead chromatography, and size exclusion chromatography.
- It is most often used as a hydrogel due to the gelation property of agar. Agar hydrogels are modified by integrating other biopolymers to form an interpenetrating network to realize sustained-drug delivery.
- Agar Agar in gel form can be used to measure microorganism motility and mobility as the agarose medium is porous.
- As research grade agar is optionally supplemented with a nutrient and vitamin mixture that allows for seedling germination in agar dishes under sterile conditions, this is used in plant biology.
- It is used to make salt bridges and gel plugs for use in electrochemistry.
- It can be used as a natural ingredient in making modeling clay to play for children.
- Agar Agar is used as biofertilizer component in organic farming.
- In immunology, it can be used as a substrate for precipitin reactions.
- It can be used as a substitute for gelatin in photographic emulsions.
- It can also be used as a substitute for fish glue in resist etching.
- Agar Agar can be used as arrowroot in preparing silver paper.
- It can be used as a medium to precisely orient the tissue specimen and secure it by agar pre-embedding for histopathology processing.
- Blood agar, such as Columbia blood agar, is a highly nutritious and is a general purpose enriched medium used to grow fastidious organisms and to differentiate bacteria based on their hemolytic properties.
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