Phycocolloids are polysaccharides of high molecular weight that are composed mainly of simple sugars. The term phycocolloid is used to describe a certain colloid which is derived from seaweed. Colloid is defined as being a non-crystalline substance with very large molecules, which when dissolved is a viscous and sticky solution. Phycocolloids are simply a seaweed gum.
Kelp from which algin is extracted
Phycocolloids refer to polysaccharides which are extracted from both freshwater and marine algae. Up to present research, only polysaccharides extracted from marine red and brown algae, such as agar, carrageenan, and algin contain economic and commercial significance. They're important for the fact that these polysaccharides exhibit high molecular weights, high viscosity and excellent gellling, stabilizing and emulsifying properties. They're all water soluble and are extracted with hot water or alkaline solution.
|Plant from which agar is extracted from:||Refined Carrageenan|
Three main types of phycocolloids are alginate, carrageenan, and agar. Alginate is extracted from brown seaweeds generally growing in the polar water areas of the world. Commercial sources of phaeophytes for alginate production are Ascophyllum, Laminaria and Macrocystis, along with Ecklonia and Durvillea. Carrageenans are extracted from red algae, in particular Hypneaceae, Phyllophoraceae, Sollieriaceae, and Gigartinaceae. Agar, also obtained from red algae specifically comes from Gelidium, Gracilaria, Pterocladia, Aconthopeltis, and Annfeltia.
Phycocolloids are exremely important in our economy. Below is a table showing everything phycocolloids are used for:
|whipped toppings||jellies-jams||air freshner gels||ointments||lotions||fertilizers|
|cheeses||frozen foods||welding rods||capsules-coatings||cosmetics||food additives for cattle and pigs|
|instant breakfasts||syrups||castings/impressions||anit-coagulants||skin makeup||wound dressings|
|milk shakes||low calorie foods||adhesives||stiffening agent for medium to grow bacteria-mold||toothpaste||reduce acidity in soil|
|custards||relishes||cleaners||dental impressions||laxatives||produce methan when burned for fuel|
|shaving soaps||filtration of acidic water|
|ice cream||fruit juices||paper sizing- coating||pullution indicator|
|flans||sauces-gravies||textile dyeing||aid dental bone implants|
|yogurt||salad dressings||photographic film||markers for petroleum geology|
|chocolate milk||pastry fillings||shoe polish||sewage treatment|
|evaporated milk||icings||rubber processing|
|egg nog||anti-drying agent in bread||paints|
|Fao Website||Website which describes phycolloids, specifically algin, carrageenan, and agar.|
|Botany Website||Website discussing the extraction of phycocolloids from various algae.|
|SIU Website||Website that discuss the uses of phycocolloids..|