The secret ingredient for perfect texture.


Alginates, sourced from marine brown algae, are natural polysaccharides that enhance food’s consistency, stability, and texture.

What are Alginates?

Alginates are natural polysaccharides extracted from marine brown algae. Valued for their unique properties, they play a key role in many food and consumer products.

In food and bakery formulations, they are used to:

  • Stabilize dispersions
  • Increase viscosity
  • Form gels
  • Improve their overall texture

Origins and Historical Use

In 1881, a British chemist named Stanford identified alginates as a major component of brown algae, making up to 40% of its dry weight. Alginates were first used in the food industry in 1946 to create artificial cherries. By mixing flavored, colored sodium alginate solutions with calcium salt, cherry-like drops were formed. Their popularity surged due to their stability and resistance to melting.

Commercial Production

As a leading ingredient supplier and distributor, we at Ingreland source alginates from several brown algae species, including Laminaria, Ascophyllum, and Sargassum, to name a few. The production process involves:

  • Acidifying macerated algae to turn alginate salt into alginic acid.
  • Neutralizing this acid with an alkali, forming soluble sodium alginates.
  • Separating the solution from other algal matter using methods like sifting and centrifugation
  • Finally, precipitate the sodium alginate using substances like alcohol or calcium chloride. This resultant is then dried, milled, and sometimes converted to other forms, such as potassium or ammonium alginates.

Alginates Composition:

At their core, alginates are acidic polysaccharides comprised of two main components: β-D-mannuronic acid (M) and α-L-guluronic acid (G). Commercially supplied alginates, typically have a molecular weight ranging from 32,000 to 400,000 g/mol.

Functions of Alginates:

Alginates are versatile ingredients commonly used in food applications. Depending on the specific need, they are typically used in quantities ranging from 0.5-1.5%. They have the following functions:

  1. Solubility: Solubility is controlled by pH, ionic strength and the gelling ions content. Hard water, i.e. water containing ions such as calcium, hinders alginates solubility. They also precipitate under acidic conditions (pH < 3.5) or in the presence of high ion concentrations (mainly calcium). Sodium, potassium, and ammonium alginates are soluble in hot and cold water, and alkaline solutions. It is important to uniformly disperse alginates so that they swell and dissolve without forming lumps.
  2. Viscosity: Sodium alginates tend to form highly viscous solutions which remain stable under shear; thus providing smooth flow properties.
  3. Temperature resilient: Unlike other gelling agents such as carrageenan and agar, alginates form heat stable gels at both high and low temperatures and at low pH as well.
  4. Clarity and strength: They can form clear, transparent films of sodium/ calcium alginate with high tensile strength.

Common Uses of Alginates:

Alginates are valuable in a wide range of culinary applications:

  • For jams, marmalades, and fruit sauces, they act as thickeners.
  • In low-fat processed foods, they enhance sensory properties.
  • Bakery creams benefit from them as they prevent water leakage and ensure stability during freeze/thaw cycles.
  • For non-frozen doughs, they reduce the dough’s stickiness and boost moisture absorption.
  • In cake and bread mixes, they enhance shelf life and moisture retention.
  • They serve as stabilizers or thickeners in bakery toppings and icings.

Boost Your Brand with Ingreland

Looking for top-quality alginates? With Ingreland’s dedication to excellence, trustworthiness, and forward-thinking, we’re here to elevate your brand. As a leading ingredient distributor and supplier, Ingreland is your go-to for standout ingredients. Want to make your products shine on the market?

Product range

Product range Standards Descriptions
Genax™️ LN
Agar agar powder 900 g/cm2
Improve their overall texture
Genax™️ LF
Sodium alginate LF
Improve their overall texture
Genax™️ KAL
Calcium alginate
Improve their overall texture
Genax™️ PGA
Propylene glycol alginate (PGA)
Improve their overall texture

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Contact us today to find out more about our product offerings, to ask us any questions, or to let us know how we can assist you with a specific need.

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