Agar from Seaweed: Properties and Benefits

What are the properties and benefits of agar? Agar is an ingredient used in cooking as a substitute for gelatin. Also known by the Japanese name Kanten, agar comes from a seaweed known as Gracilaria, with a scientific name known as Geledium purpurascens. This alga is the source of 100% natural gelling agent that you can buy in bags or in powder or in flakes.

Agar is a natural thickener derived from red algae and it is used in the preparation of jellies because its flavor does not alter the taste of the dishes. Particularly suitable for those on a diet, this alga is not fattening because it contains very low calories and has a satiating effect.

Properties and benefits

The elements contained in this type of algae stimulate the body . In fact, this gelling properties are attributed to its laxative and cleansing effect. In Japan it is used to treat constipation and diabetes, which affects many Europeans in the last 30 years. The agar contains calcium and several vitamins and minerals. Moreover, it is free of gluten and, therefore, can also be used by patients with celiac disease. In dentistry, this alga is used to make dental impressions.

Agar is also used as an ingredient in emulsions, suspensions, gels and suppositories. The presence of fatty acids play an anti-inflammatory function and, thanks to its high iodine content, which stimulates the activity of the thyroid gland, can also be considered a dietary slimming product. In addition , agar help the body to activate our immune system, at the same time strengthening our bones , nails and hair.

Agar can be used for many dishes as savory. To produce a gelatinous effect, simply dilute 2 tablespoons of agar powder in 1 liter of water or fruit juice . Subsequently , the compound is cooked for 5 minutes , allowed to cool down, subsequently poured into a mold and put in the fridge until the agar solidified.

Agar is a natural polysaccharide that is found in the cell walls of some red algae. The monomers of the polysaccharide contain galactose sulfate (a solidifying substance). Therefore, all derivatives gel into the medium will become jelly if you reach a certain temperature, and once you reach this stability, the gel will not melt below 85 degrees. With the agar, then, we can prepare various food products such as beans of pies, puddings, jams, or those to be used in the dishes or served as appetizers and main dish.

 

View original article at: Alghe agar: proprietà e benefici

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