Emulsifiers, Stabilisers, Thickeners
and Gelling Agents..
An insoluble colloidal acid in the form of a carboxylated polysaccharide
that is abundant in the cell walls of brown algae (especially
large kelp and wracks).
Used in jam, jellies and marmalades as defined in Directive
79/693/EEC and other similar fruit spreads including low-calorie
products, an ingredient in antacid preparations (Gaviscon, Bisodol
tablets, Asilone tablets Boots own etc) kelp is also available
in tablet form as a dietary supplement.
Found in seaweed fertilizer preparations (approved by DEFRA's
organic food standards but not by the Soil Association)
Alginates (E400 - E405) are also used as a thickening paste
for colours in printing textiles, as a hardener and thickener
for joining threads in weaving; the alginates may subsequently
be dissolved away, giving special effects to the material. Other
uses include glazing and sizing paper, special printers' inks,
paints, cosmetics, insecticides, and pharmaceutical preparations.
In the USA alginates are frequently used as stabilisers in ice
cream, giving a smooth texture and body, and also as a suspending
agent in milk shakes.
No known adverse effects, however large quantities may inhibit
the absorption of some nutrients.
Permitted for use in animal feeds.
Researchers in the Gastro Intestinal Research Laboratory at
McGill University in Montreal, Canada, reported that alginic
acid, once ingested, is able to bind with heavy metals such
as mercury, cadmium and lead in the body, carrying them out
of the system. Alginic acid has also been found to remove traces
of low level radioactive material.