Agar
Title: Agar
CAS Registry Number: 9002-18-0
Additional Names: Agar-agar; gelose; Japan agar; Bengal isinglass; Ceylon isinglass; Chinese isinglass; Japan isinglass; Layor Carang
Literature References: A polysaccharide complex extracted from the agarocytes of algae of the Rhodophyceae. Predominant agar-producing genera are Gelidium, Gracilaria, Acanthopeltis, Ceramium, Pterocladia found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and Japan Sea. Can be separated into a neutral gelling fraction, agarose, and a sulfated non-gelling fraction, agaropectin: Araki, J. Chem. Soc. Jpn. 58, 1338 (1937). Structure believed to be a complex range of polysaccaride chains having alternating a-(1®3) and b-(1®4) linkages and varying in total charge content; three extremes of structure noted, namely neutral agarose, pyruvated agarose having little sulfation, and a sulfated galactan: Duckworth et al., Carbohydr. Res. 16, 189, 435, 446 (1971). Reviews: V. J. Chapman, Seaweeds and Their Uses (Pitman Publ., New York, 1952) pp 89-123; Humm, Econ. Bot. 1, 317 (1947); Mori, Adv. Carbohydr. Chem. 8, 317 (1953); Selby, Wynne, in Industrial Gums, R. L. Whistler, Ed. (Academic Press, N.Y., 2nd ed., 1973) pp 29-48.
Properties: Transparent, odorless, tasteless strips or coarse or fine powder. Insol in cold water, alc; slowly sol in hot water to a viscid soln. A 1% soln forms a stiff jelly on cooling.
Use: Substitute for gelatin, isinglass, etc. in making emulsions including photographic, gels in cosmetics, and as thickening agent in foods esp. confectionaries and dairy products; in meat canning; in production of medicinal encapsulations and ointments; as dental impression mold base; as corrosion inhibitor; sizing for silks and paper; in the dyeing and printing of fabrics and textiles; in adhesives. In nutrient media for bacterial cultures.
Therap-Cat: Cathartic.
Therap-Cat-Vet: Laxative in dogs, cats. Demulcent.
Keywords: Laxative/Cathartic.

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