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    A gelatinous colloidal extract of a red alga (since the genera gelidium, gracilaria, and eucheuma) utilized specifically in culture media or as a gelling and stabilizing agent in foods. [1]


    Agar is a plant. People use it to make medication. In japan agar is called “kanten,” and it is the main ingredient in “the kanten plan” or “the kanten diet.”.

    People utilize agar for weight problems, diabetes, constipation, yellowing of the skin in babies (neonatal jaundice), and other conditions, however there is no good scientific evidence to support these usages.

    In dentistry, agar is utilized to make dental impressions.

    In making processes, agar is utilized as a component in emulsions, suspensions, gels, and certain suppositories. [2]


    Ogonori, the most common red algae used to make agar.

    Agar may have been found in japan in 1658 by mino tarōzaemon, an innkeeper in current fushimi-ku, kyoto who, according to legend, was stated to have disposed of surplus seaweed soup (tokoroten) and observed that it gelled later on after a winter season night’s freezing. over the following centuries, agar became a typical gelling representative in a number of southeast asian cuisines.

    Agar was first subjected to chemical analysis in 1859 by the french chemist anselme payen, who had actually obtained agar from the marine algae gelidium corneum.

    Beginning in the late 19th century, agar began to be used as a solid medium for growing various microbes. Agar was first described for usage in microbiology in 1882 by the german microbiologist walther hesse, an assistant working in robert koch’s laboratory, on the tip of his spouse fanny hesse. Agar quickly supplanted gelatin as the base of microbiological media, due to its higher melting temperature level, enabling microorganisms to be grown at higher temperatures without the media liquefying.

    With its newfound usage in microbiology, agar production rapidly increased. This production fixated japan, which produced most of the world’s agar up until world war ii. However, with the break out of world war ii, numerous countries were required to develop domestic agar markets in order to continue microbiological research study. Around the time of world war ii, around 2,500 lots of agar were produced yearly. By the mid-1970s, production worldwide had increased dramatically to approximately 10,000 heaps each year. Since then, production of agar has actually fluctuated due to unstable and often over-utilized seaweed populations. [3]

    Kinds of agar

    Various algae produce different kinds of agar. Each agar has unique qualities that satisfy various applications. The agar is solidified because of its agarose content. Agarose has the potential capability to melt when warmed and solidify when cooled. Because of this particular, they are termes “physical gels”. Polyacrylamide polymerization is an irreversible process and they are termed chemical gels.

    Given listed below is a list of various kinds of agar that support the different stress of bacterial growth.

    Blood agar

    Assistance development of a lot of germs.

    Luria bertani (pound) agar

    Utilized for regular cultivation of fastidious bacteria and serve as a general medium for microbiological research studies.

    Chocolate agar

    Assistance development of haemophilus types and neisseria.

    Macconkey agar

    Supports the development of gram-negative germs.

    Nutrient agar

    To grow various type of bacteria (not all) and some fungi.

    Neomycin agar

    To culture microbes anaerobically.

    Aside from these, the tissue culture grade agar is utilized for the development of plants and other biotechnological functions in research study labs and by culturists. [4]

    Structure of nutrient agar

    • Active ingredients quantity (gm/l)
    • Beef extract 3.0 gm
    • Peptone 5.0 gm
    • Sodium chloride 8.0 gm
    • Agar 15.0 gm
    • Distilled water 1000 ml
    • Final ph 6.8 ± 0.2.

    Structure of nutrient broth: nutrient broth consists of all these components except agar.

    Qualities of the parts used in nutrient agar/broth

    • Beef extract is an aqueous extract of lean beef tissues. It contains water-soluble compounds of animal tissue, which include carbohydrates, organic nitrogen compounds, water-soluble vitamins, and salts.
    • Peptone is made by absorbing proteinaceous materials e.g., meat, casein, gelatin, using acids or enzymes. Peptone is the primary source of natural nitrogen and may contain carbohydrates or vitamins. Relying on the nature of protein and method of digestion, peptones vary in their constituents, varying in their capability to support the development of germs.
    • Agar is a complex carb gotten from specific marine algae. It is utilized as a strengthening representative for media and does not have any nutritious value. Agar gels when the temperature level of media reaches 45 ° c and melts when the temperature reaches 95 ° c. [5]

    Mechanism of action of agar

    Agar consists of 2 polysaccharides agarose and agaropectin. Agarose offers gel strength to agar and it contains d-galactose and anhydro l-galactose units. Agaropectin is accountable for the viscosity of agar services.

    Agar is a bulk laxative. It soaks up water and swells up and leading to increased bowel activity and elimination of waste. Agar when contact with water forms gel which has emollient or lubricating property. Agar after oral administration swell in the intestine, lubricates and softens the stool, and makes the passage of defecation much easier and more regular. [6]

    Uses & & efficiency Possibly effective for …

    • Taking a product containing agar gel (slim kanten) by mouth daily while following a traditional japanese diet for 12 weeks appears to decrease body weight and body mass index in obese people with type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance more effectively than following a standard japanese diet plan alone.

    · Inadequate proof to rate effectiveness for …

    • Taking an item containing agar gel (slim kanten) by mouth daily while following a traditional japanese diet for 12 weeks does not enhance pre-meal blood sugar level levels or insulin resistance in overweight individuals with type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance more effectively than following a conventional japanese diet alone. However, agar appears to assist lower body weight and body mass index in these people.
    • High levels of a chemical called bilirubin in the blood of babies (baby jaundice). The majority of early research study suggests that providing agar by mouth for 5 days does not reduce bilirubin levels in babies with newborn jaundice. However, when offered by mouth in addition to light therapy, agar seems to increase the bilirubin-lowering effects of light treatment and reduce the length of time that light therapy is needed.
    • Other conditions.

    More evidence is needed to rank the efficiency of agar for these uses. [7]

    What is agar agar?

    Agar agar is a gelatinous compound originated from red algae that has actually been popular throughout asia for centuries. As it is derived from plants, not animals, it is suitable for use by vegans as a substitute for gelatin.

    Without taste, smell or colour, agar can safely be used in desserts and other cooking without modifying the taste or odor. It sets more strongly than gelatin and can even set at space temperature level. [8]


    Originated from red algae, it is abundant in many minerals and vitamins consisting of magnesium, iron, manganese, amino acids, calcium, folic acid, vital fats omega-3 and omega-6 and likewise contains many anti-oxidants. We enjoy the thought of having all those necessary minerals and vitamins loaded into our tasty dessert or next sweet reward.

    If you resemble us and love knowing the nutritional content of foods in figures, you might like to know that 100g of agar uses just 26 calories, 0g fat, 0g cholesterol, 7g carbohydrates and 0.5 g protein. [9]

    Advantages of agar agar

    Weight reduction

    agar agar is considered a healthy addition to weight-loss strategies due to it being low in calories, fat, sugar and carbs. A cravings suppressant, agar is chiefly made up of water-soluble, indigestible fiber and is referred to as a “hydrophilic colloid”. It draws in and takes in water, increasing bulk with extremely few calories which offers a sensation of fullness that allows individuals to minimize their food consumption. As agar travels through the body it likewise absorbs glucose in the stomach, passing it through the digestive system rapidly thus hindering its storage as fat.

    Consuming agar as part of a natural weight reduction strategy is known as the “kanten diet” in japan. This requires adding a teaspoon of the powder to tea or warm water and drinking prior to meals. Promoting a sensation of satiety, it can also help to stabilize blood sugar and block the storage of fat and is a diet that lots of japanese females swear by.

    Gastrointestinal health

    The fiber discovered in agar has lots of gastrointestinal benefits. It absorbs contaminants from the gut and intestinal tract, bring the toxic waste securely out of the body. Often utilized as a treatment for constipation, the soluble fiber discovered in agar absorbs water in the gut and forms bulk which serves as a natural laxative. Regulating and cleaning the bowel is among the cornerstones of gastrointestinal health.

    Bone health

    Agar agar is high in calcium and magnesium, and whilst calcium is famous for its contribution to strong and healthy bones, a lesser recognized reality is that it must be in balance with magnesium to increase bone density. A common problem in western diet plans is too much calcium and not enough magnesium which can result in uncomfortable calcification of joints and the development of kidney and gallstones. Fortunately agar consists of a healthy balance of these 2 essential minerals, alongside manganese– a nutrient that is important to the metabolism and development of bones.

    Brain health

    Agar agar is a polymer made up of sub-units of the basic sugar particle galactose which is commonly described as “brain sugar”. It is essential for the development of the brain in children and kids, and can be produced endogenously by the body along with supplemented from foods such as agar.

    When synthesized by the body, galactose forms a part of glycolipids and glycoproteins in numerous tissues. It is an essential element of the myelin sheath protecting the brain, spinal cord and main nerve system. With regards to degenerative conditions of the brain, a current study concluded that: “galactose plays a possibly beneficial role in removing neurotoxic compounds from the brain in clients suffering from alzheimer’s disease”. [10]

    Further more

    Agar agar for skin advantages

    Agar agar contributes towards making the skin soft and keeping it moisturized and hydrated. It likewise plays the role of a binding agent in keeping all the components of a mixture together. Agar agar is abundant in minerals, boasts calcium, magnesium, iron and copper. Using the powder type is one of the best ways to utilize it in beauty care dishes, but it is also available in flakes, strips and bars. An added advantage to an algae based peel off mask is that there is a less danger of irritation for sensitive skin types. Agar agar can be a remarkable alternative for exfoliant if other items are making your skin red, irritated, or scratchy. [11]

    Agar-agar peel-off mask for all skin types

    • 1 tablespoon agar powder
    • 2 tablespoons hot steamed milk
    • 1 teaspoon manuka honey
    • 2 drops chamomile essential oil (or substitute tea tree oil for acne-prone skin)
    • 1 pill vitamin e oil for dry/aging skin (optional)

    You’ll wish to steam the milk in a heat-safe bowl, then add the agar powder. Mix well and include the honey and important oil.

    Keep blending until the consistency is even. Apply while the mask is still warm however not hot.

    If you’re unsure, dab a little on the inside of your wrist. The mask ought to be conveniently warm on your face. If you put it on and it’s a little too hot, wash it off immediately to avoid burns.

    Application ideas: an old, flat makeup brush works marvels for applying this mask exactly! And think me, accuracy matters when you’re putting this baby on the face.

    While using the mask with a face or makeup brush, make sure to avoid the eyebrows and eye location, as it can pull and pull during elimination. You might even find that you have fewer hairs there than you would like– something that i, unfortunately, know from experience! Apply an even layer from chin to forehead, concentrating on the nose or any location with focused clogged pores or blackheads.

    Once dry– it typically takes 10 to 20 minutes– you’ll feel your face tighten up. Start to peel in an upward movement, starting with the chin area. Carefully peel the mask up all the way through the forehead section. It may remove in a number of areas, which is fine.

    If the mask is being particularly stubborn in some spots, do not try and force it off– you might really aggravate your skin! Instead, simply damp that part a little with some warm water to help loosen it. It ought to then come off much easier!

    After you have actually peeled most of it, use a warm washcloth and get rid of any remaining mask. Now, your skin is optimized to soak up the active components in your routine! Finish with a hydrating moisturizer or serum. [12]

    Is agar helpful for your hair?

    Great for skin and hair. Agar agar helps soften the skin if used externally as a face pack. Along with external application, consuming it internally likewise helps with hair and skin care as it is abundant in nutrients and minerals necessary for hair growth and glowing skin. [13]

    Homemade natural hair gel recipe

    Makes enough for 2 weeks.


    • 1/2 teaspoon agar flakes
    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
    • 4-6 drops vital oils


    Boil water and add agar agar. Stir continuously until all the flakes are totally liquified. Get rid of from the stove and stir in the aloe vera and vital oils. Let cool to room temperature level before moving to a glass container. Store in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours prior to usage. Keep refrigerated when not using– it will keep for up to 2 weeks. [14]

    Agar-agar side effects

    When agar-agar is used sensibly and taken with a sufficient amount of water of other fluids, then it might not trigger any adverse effects. If taken with the insufficient quantity of fluid it can trigger choking by blocking the throat or food pipeline. In addition, it can also trigger following adverse effects:.

    • Anorexia nervosa
    • Weak food digestion
    • Loose stools [15]

    Method to use agar agar

    Agar agar can be utilized as a vegan-friendly replacement in any recipe that calls for gelatin as a thickening agent, consisting of sauces, jelly-based desserts, custards and puddings.

    How to utilize agar agar?

    1. Use 2 tsp of agar flakes to every cup of liquid in a dish. Like gelatin, it needs to be liquified in liquid by bringing it to a boil over medium heat and after that simmering until thickened, around five minutes. Set and chill in refrigerator prior to usage.
    2. Usage 0.9 g agar powder to 100ml of neutral liquid
    3. Usage 1.3 g of agar powder to 100ml of acidic liquid [16]

    Agar agar jelly with coconut– laotian vun

    What you’ll require

    Below are the key ingredients you’ll require, along with fundamental staples including an egg, sugar, salt and water.

    Agar agar powder– try to find it in asian grocers or online. You can substitute with routine jelly/jello powder or powdered gelatin if required– simply follow the cooking directions on the packet to make. If utilizing agar flakes instead of powder, use the conversion ratio of 1 tsp powder to 1 tablespoon flakes.

    Coconut milk– we utilize canned Coconut milk with a minimum of 60% Coconut extract. Prevent sweetened Coconut milk, just use regular plain coconut milk so you are constantly in control of the sweet taste.

    Pandan flavouring– we utilize the popular pasta pandan flavouring. It shops well, and is easy to find at asian supermarkets or online. It’s a remarkably versatile little ingredient which you can utilize for other sweet asian deals with like klepon (Coconut rice cakes) and dadar gulung (rolled pancakes), or perhaps mouth-watering dishes like thai pandan chicken. If you don’t have any pandan flavouring on hand, you can make your own pandan extract or replacement with regular vanilla essence.

    How to make agar jelly?

    1. Start by putting half your Coconut milk into a little mixing bowl. Break in the egg and give it a really great whisk to integrate.
    2. On the other hand heat the water in a big pan over medium heat. Include the agar powder and give it a swirl to mix through and liquify. Gradually gather the Coconut milk and egg mixture and stir. Carefully give the boil and keep stirring. Then gradually include your remaining Coconut milk.
    3. Next, add in the sugar, salt and pandan essence (optional). Taste the mixture, however be careful not to burn your tongue! If it’s not sweet enough, you can add more sugar, or an additional spray of salt or pandan essence til you more than happy with the flavour.
    4. Prepare and stir for a couple of more minutes, then get rid of from the heat.
    5. Put the mix out into a big glass dish (or jelly moulds, if utilizing). Skim any bubbles off the surface so your jelly will set nice and smooth. Allow the jelly cool on your cooking area bench for an hour or so (check out those layers forming!).
    6. As soon as set, cut the jelly into shapes and serve. [17]

    Mango coconut jelly cubes


    Mango layer

    • 250 g mango flesh (for purée), approximately cubed (from about 1 1/2 – 2 mangos, scant 2 cups)
    • Flesh of 1 mango, 1-cm cubes
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 1 1/4 cups water
    • 2 tsp agar powder
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • Lime juice, to taste
    • 15 little mint leaves, optional

    Coconut layer

    • 2/3 cup water
    • 1 tsp agar powder
    • 4 tbsp sugar
    • ⅛ tsp salt
    • 2/3 cup Coconut milk


    For the mango layer:

    1. In a blender, blend the mango cubes (for purée) and orange juice up until smooth. In a little pot, add water and agar powder and stir to distribute the powder. Bring to a complete boil, stirring often, ensuring that all the agar powder has actually liquified. Add sugar and mango purée and blend up until smooth. Eliminate from heat and taste, including more sugar and/or lime juice as needed.
    2. Pour the mango mixture into a mould. You can utilize whatever mould you like; i utilized a square pan, however you can likewise make individual ones utilizing cups, glasses, etc. Add the 1-cm mango cubes into the mango base, dispersing the cubes equally throughout, and pressing them down to make certain they are immersed. If preferred, you can add mint leaves all throughout, pressing them into the mango base. Note: agar jelly sets at space temperature, so work quickly particularly if you are making small ones.
    3. Let the jelly set up until the surface area is firm enough to soak the next layer (if you touch it gently and your fingers are not poking through, it’s ready). You can put it in the refrigerator to make it go much faster, however do not let this set totally cold!

    For the coconut layer:

    1. In a little pot, integrate water and agar powder and stir to disperse the powder. Give a full boil, stirring often, making sure that all the agar powder has actually dissolved. Sugarcoat, salt, and stir till liquified. Add Coconut milk, stir to blend and remove from heat. You can utilize this immediately if the mango layer has actually set, if the mango layer has actually not set, keep this mixture hot, covered, over the lowest heat setting on the range to prevent it from setting and becoming clumpy.
    2. As soon as the surface area of the mango layer has set, gently put the Coconut layer over the back of a spoon on to the mango base (if you put too tough it might break or trigger damages in the mango layer). Cool for a couple of hours until cold.
    3. When cold, cut into cubes with a sharp knife and delight in! [18]

    Special preventative measures and warnings

    • Children: agar is possibly safe when offered by mouth to infants for a short amount of time.
    • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: there is insufficient reliable details about the security of taking agar if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and prevent use.
    • Bowel obstruction (obstruction): agar might make bowel obstruction worse, specifically if it isn’t taken with sufficient water or other liquid. Get medical guidance before taking agar if you have a bowel blockage.
    • Problem swallowing: agar may inflate and obstruct the consuming tube (esophagus) if it isn’t taken with adequate water or other liquid. This can be especially unsafe for someone who has difficulty swallowing. Get medical guidance before taking agar if you have a swallowing problem.
    • Colon cancer: there is some issue that eating a specific kind of dietary fiber, such agar, may increase the threat of establishing colon tumors. Get medical guidance prior to taking agar if you have a history of or are at threat for colon cancer. [19]


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