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A gelling polysaccharide compound found in giant brown seaweed of the class Phaeophyceae. Algin is similar to Agar. It is composed of mannuronic acid and glucuronic acids. The hydrophilic, cream-color material is extracted from the kelp and used as thickener and stabilizer in coatings and food products, such as ice cream. It is also used to produce synthetic yarns and fibers and as a blood coagulant in first aid dressings. The name algin is also used as a shortened version of Alginic acid and Sodium alginate.

See also alginate fiber.

Synonyms and Related Terms

sodium alginate; sodium salt of alginic acid; sodium polymannuronate; Alto; Alman; Alloid; Allose; Kelgin; Protanal; dental alginate


Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, forming a viscous solution. Insoluble in ethanol, chloroform, ether and in acidic solutions of pH

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 19
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 240
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Book and Paper Group, Paper Conservation Catalog, AIC, 1984, 1989
  • I.W. Cottrell, J.K. Baird, gums chapter

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