Alginate is a simple material that is made by processing naturally-occurring brown seaweeds from all over the world. This white, chalky powder surprisingly enjoys great patronage across diverse industries.
You will be surprised to read about some of the unexpected beneficial uses of alginate. Let’s find out more:
- Medical and pharmaceutical – Alginate is used for different purposes in medicinal applications. The greatest advantage is that alginate hastens the disintegration of tablets thus allowing faster release of their medicinal component. The best part is that the alginate remains tasteless and odorless. Alginate is also used to lower cholesterol levels, treat hypertension, alleviate indigestion as well as for dressing wounds and burns. Not just this, alginate works well in health food and weight loss supplements too. The same powder has been used by dentists to capture dental impressions since many decades.
- Industrial and technical – Alginate is used in various industries and proves especially useful for manufacturing textiles. This thickening and binding agent is used for substrate of color paste when applying patterns to print fabrics, particularly on cotton, jute and rayon. It is also used in the production of welding rods, fertilizers, ceramics, paper, adhesives, paints and dyes. Another benefit is that alginate allows for easier waste water disposal.
- Food and beverage – Not many people may be aware that the organic and food-safe alginate has thickening, gelling, emulsifying, stabilizing and texture-improving properties that can be valuable in the kitchen. The sweeping use includes meat binding, preserving frozen fish, thickening sauces, softening breads, making icecream better, clarifying wines and keeping the foam in beer. Apart from this, alginate is even used by chefs to create those wonderful spheres with liquid inside that burst in the mouth.
- Beauty and skin care – Alginate can make people look beautiful too. It is used to thicken various cosmetics and enables them to retain moisture. It can significantly improve the performance of specific products. This powder is used in different facial and spa treatments and is added to face packs too. It not just keeps the skin hydrated but can reduce wrinkles too. When added to lipstick, the same alginate helps the color to stay on the lip surface.
- Art and craft – The use of alginate in artworks deserves a special mention. It is used by taxidermists to make molds of dead animals for recreating them in a lifelike state. The powder is also used by catch-and-release anglers for making a lifelike reproduction of their ‘catch’. Additionally, alginate is completely skin safe and can be used on live humans too. It is commonly used by life casting artists to capture molds of various parts of the body before making realistic-looking three-dimensional life casts.
Therefore, it is obvious that the humble alginates that are derived from the wild seaweeds carry immense potential for human beings. And alginates continue to stay completely safe across all their varied uses.
The author is an artist by profession as well as an experienced writer in the field or art and craft. In this article, he has highlighted the uses of alginate in different industry.