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Agar

Agar is a galactose polymer obtained from the cell walls of some species of red algae or seaweeds (Sphaerococcus Euchema and Gelidium species), chiefly from eastern Asia. Also known as Kanten, Agar-Agar, or Agal-Agal (Ceylon Agar).

Dissolved in hot water and cooled, agar becomes gelatinous; its chief use is as a culture medium for microbiological work (e.g. agar plates). Other uses include as a laxative, a vegetarian gelatin substitute - a thickener for soups, in jellies and ice cream, and as a clarifying agent in brewing.

See also: agarose



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