Agent Name

Agar

CAS Number

9002-18-0

Major Category

Biological Agents

Synonyms

Agar (Gelidium spp.); Agar agar flake; Agar-agar; Agar-agar gum; Agaropectin, mixt with agarose; Agarose, mixt with agaropectin; Bengal; Bengal gelatin; Bengal isinglass; Ceylon; Ceylon isinglass; Chinese gelatin; Chinese isinglass; Digenea simplex mucilage; Gelose; Isinglass, japanese; Japan agar; Japan isinglass; Japanese gelatin; Layor Carang; Macassar gelatin; Vegetable gelatin; [ChemIDplus] Agargel; Bacto-agar; Difco bacto agar; GAM medium; Gelatin; Kantenmatsu; Macassar gum; Oxoid III; Oxoid L 11; Phytagar; S 100; S 100 (polysaccharide); [CAMEO]

Category

Polysaccharides

Description

Transparent odorless solid; [Merck Index] Light yellowish orange, yellowish grey to pale yellow, or colorless solid in various forms; [JECFA] Beige powder; [Sigma-Aldrich MSDS]

Sources/Uses

A polysaccharide complex extracted from oceanic algae; Used as a substitute for gelatin, thickening agent in foods, base for dental mold impressions, corrosion inhibitor, sizing agent for silks and paper, and therapeutic cathartic; Also used in photographic and other emulsions, gels in cosmetics, meat canning, medicinal encapsulations and ointments, dyeing and printing fabrics and textiles, adhesives, and nutrient media for bacterial cultures; [Merck Index] Also used in waveset preparations, chemical and biological laboratory applications, and has additional food and beverage applications; [HSDB] Permitted for use as an inert ingredient in non-food pesticide products; [EPA] "Agar is derived from the polysaccharide agarose, which forms the supporting structure in the cell walls of certain species of algae, and which is released on boiling." [Wikipedia]

Comments

No evidence of carcinogenicity in rats or mice; [NTP] Causes diarrhea in acute oral studies of rats; Causes other GI changes and weight loss in 4-week constant oral studies of rats; [RTECS] Safe when used as a flavoring agent in food; [JECFA] May cause irritation; [Sigma-Aldrich MSDS] See "Agarose."

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