Sodium alginate. Properties and applications

Sodium alginate is an alginic acid salt- a viscous polysaccharide, which is extracted from brown seaweed or Japanese kelp. It is used in medicine as a medicine (antacid) and is intended for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, in which neutralization of hydrochloric acid is necessary. In the food industry, it plays the role of stabilizer and thickener and is known more to us, as a food supplement E401.

Sodium alginate has a "0" level of safetydue to its natural origin. It is an emulsifier and in the food industry is used as a water-retaining agent. On the packages of products it is designated E401, but in addition, there are other names: sodium aliginat and sodium alginate. This should be known if you are a supporter of a healthy diet and are accustomed to carefully study food labels.

Being a polysaccharide of natural origin,Alginate sodium consists of the residues of L-guluronic and D-mannuronic acids. The powder of this substance has a cream or light brown color. It retains moisture well and dissolves easily in water. Its main application is related to the ability to form gels.

Sodium alginate is made from brown and redseaweed. Their extraction is currently being intensively conducted in Indonesia. The Philippines, Japan, China, France and the United States are mainly processing. Small processing plants are also organized in India, Russia and Chile.

The salts of this substance are excellententerosorbents, but this is not the only useful in medicine property. Sodium alginate also accelerates the healing process of wounds. In addition, alginic acid and its salts significantly reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. These properties have been known for a long time, and the use has more than 300 years.

There are several interesting facts from the history of this substance.

  • Seeking a safe and efficient connection,binding and removing radionuclides from the body, were engaged in the 70's. last century. The investigated material used algae kelp and fucus, which differed in the richness of alginic acid and its derivatives. At the same time, studies were conducted in more than 10 countries. The high effectiveness of alginates was demonstrated to combat the effects of radiation exposure.
  • Most of the medicinal properties of sea kale are due to the content of alginic acid in it.
  • In all studies conducted in the twentieth century, confirmed the safety of sodium alginate for the human body. This made it possible to use it as a food supplement.
  • The permissible daily dose for a person wasestablished by WHO. It was up to 50 mg per kg of body weight. In Russia and in many countries, this additive is recognized as safe and allowed for use in the food industry.
  • Due to its properties, sodium alginate enjoys growing demand, only in the last year its consumption in the world has increased by 16%.
  • As a food additive, it is used to make sweets, marmalade, jams and jellies.
  • It is also used for clouding beverages that do not contain alcohol and for clarifying juices; in the production of mayonnaise sauces; fish and meat jellies; as food concentrate.
  • It is used in cosmetology for the manufacture of ointments, lipsticks and creams.

Food stabilizers are special additives thatbelong to the subgroup E400 - E499. Their main purpose is to form and preserve textures, consistency, shapes. They are intended to improve and preserve the appearance of products, as they prevent chemical and physical changes. Food stabilizers are used in bakery, dairy, meat processing and confectionery production. They are divided into 3 main groups: pectins, gums, carrageenans.

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