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Alginates / PGA / Preparing

Mixing and Dissolving

When dissolving alginate it is crucial that the alginate is added slowly to water that is vigorously being stirred in order to create a vortex. Alginate should be added slowly into the vortex to avoid lumping and allowed to stir for 30 minutes to assure complete solubility; stirring times may vary with the grade of alginate used. Premixing alginate with another powder, such as sugar, or with a water-miscible liquid, i.e.alcohol or glycerol, will facilitate dispersion and subsequent dissolution.

Alginates are generally less susceptible to microbial attack than many other carbohydrates. A depolymerization of the polymer upon storing may occur, hence resulting in a loss of viscosity. To avoid loss of viscosity a suitable preservative such as sorbic acid, potassium sorbate, benzoic acid, sodium benzoate or esters of hydroxybenzoic acidis recommended for food applications. In industrial applications formaldehyde, sodium pentachlorophenate and other phenolic derivatives may be used.

Under neutral conditions alginate systems are stable at room temperature. As with most carbohydrates, alginates are susceptible to hydrolysis or degradation in acid and alkali, especially at high temperatures for extended periods. To limit the effect of heat and acid it is better to apply high heat for a short period of time and only if necessary.