Agar Agar E406 is a milky or yellowish fine powder used as an ingredient in desserts throughout Asia. It is mainly used to make jellies, puddings and custards. Though Agar Agar E406 is considered safe, some are convinced it has potentially dangerous health effects.
What Is Agar Agar E406?
Agar Agar E406 is a natural hydrocolloid extracted from several species of red algae. It is used for thickening and gelling foods without affecting color or flavor. Since its gelling power is ten times higher than animal gelatine, it is effective at very low levels. In addition, Agar-Agar has a very high content of soluble fiber (almost 90% by weight) and minerals, so it is often included in dietetic foods. Unlike other food hydrocolloids such as carrageenan and pectin, agar does not require other agents (such as salts) to form gels. Thus, it contributes much less to ash content than other gelling agents. Agar-Agar can be used in confectionery (jellies, caramels, toppings, jams, cake and doughnut icings), dairy products, canned foods, baked goods, soups and casseroles.
Possible Side Effects of Agar Agar E406
Though Agar Agar E406 is regarded as safe supplement, there maybe some side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Weak digestion
- Loose stools
GRAS Affirmation: Yes
Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) is an American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts, and so is exempted from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements. Agar Agar E406 is considered safe.
Special Populations Precaution
There is a lot of concern about diet and nutrition for these population, like Newborns, children, pregnant, sensitive to Agar Agar E406 populations. Better consult to your doctor if you would like to intake Agar Agar.
1. Immobilization of pectin degrading enzyme from Bacillus licheniformis KIBGE IB-21 using agar-agar as a support. [Carbohydr Polym. 2014 Feb 15] Author: Rehman HU, Aman A, Zohra RR, Qader SA.
2. Conventional and microwave pyrolysis of a macroalgae waste from the Agar-Agar industry. Prospects for bio-fuel production. [Bioresour Technol. 2014 Jan] Author: Ferrera-Lorenzo N, Fuente E, Bermúdez JM, Suárez-Ruiz I, Ruiz B.
3. Antimicrobial activity of highly stable silver nanoparticles embedded in agar-agar matrix as a thin film. [Carbohydr Res. 2010 Oct 13] Author: Ghosh S, Kaushik R, Nagalakshmi K, Hoti SL, Menezes GA, Harish BN, Vasan HN.
4. Use of a new gelling agent (Eladium©) as an alternative to agar-agar and its adaptation to screen biofilm-forming yeasts. [Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Nov] Author: Gognies S, Belarbi A.
5. [Gel-producing properties of exopolysaccharide acrylamide in composition with agar-agar]. [Mikrobiol Z. 2004 Nov-Dec] Author: Vashchenko LN, Litvinchuk OA, Gvozdiak RI, Votselko SK.