- Alginates are
hydrocolloids, water soluble biopolymers extracted from brown
- Alginates occurs naturally
in seaweed mainly in the form of calcium, magnesium and sodium salts.
chemical composition of alginate varies according to seaweed species and
- The chemical compound
sodium alginate is the sodium salt of alginic acid. Its form as a gum,
when extracted from the cell walls of brown algae, is used by the foods
industry to increase viscosity and as an emulsifier. It is also used in
- Sodium alginate has no
discernable flavor. Its empirical chemical formula is NaC6H7O6.Sodium
alginate may have hypocholesterolemic and glycemic-regulatory
activities. It may also have detoxification activity.
- Sodium alginate is a good
chelator for pulling radioactive toxins from the body which have taken
that place of the non-radioactive counterparts examples like Iodine 131
and Strontium 90.
- Sodium alginate has been
found to lower cholesterol in animal studies. It is speculated that this
may be due to alginate-stimulated increase of fecal bile acid
excretion. Sodium alginate binds tightly to such substances as strontium,
cadmium, radium and barium. It also binds to lead, but not as well.
Sodium alginate's binding to these substances reduces their
- There is little on the
pharmacokinetics of sodium alginate in humans. It appears to be
resistant to digestion by the digestive enzymes and is probably
fermented, in part, by colonic bacteria to the short-chain fatty acids
acetate, propionate and butyrate.
- Sodium alginate may
decrease the absorption of the carotenoids beta-carotene, lycopene and
lutein if used concomitantly. It may also decrease the absorption of
such minerals as calcium, zinc, manganese, chromium and magnesium if
used concomitantly. Sodium alginates is used in printing and textile
industry, food industry, medical industry.
- Depending on
excellent equipment and advanced technology, a company in china now
can produce 800t sodium alginate, 250t mannite and 150t fine iodine
and has passed ISO9002 certificate.
- Many countries supply
seaweed as a raw material to the alginate industry. These include USA,
Mexico, Chile, Scotland, Ireland, France, Norway, Iceland, Canada,
China, Japan, Korea, Australia and South Africa.
- The Western Isles have
supplied seaweed to the alginate industry over a number of years now
although the amount of seaweed currently harvested for this purpose is
substantially less than at its peak in the 1970s when the operation of
three primary processing plants in the Western Isles (Keose, Sponish and
Orosay) provided an estimated £550,000 per year to the local
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