agar-agar

agar

[ah-gahr, ag-er]
noun
1.
Also, agar-agar. Also called Chinese gelatin, Chinese isinglass, Japanese gelatin, Japanese isinglass. a gelatinlike product of certain seaweeds, used for solidifying certain culture media, as a thickening agent for ice cream and other foods, as a substitute for gelatin, in adhesives, as an emulsifier, etc.
2.
Biology. a culture medium having an agar base.

Origin:
1885–90; < Malay agaragar seaweed from which a gelatin is rendered, or the gelatin itself

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World English Dictionary
agar (ˈeɪɡə)
 
n
Also called: agar-agar a complex gelatinous carbohydrate obtained from seaweeds, esp those of the genus Gelidium, used as a culture medium for bacteria, a laxative, in food such as ice cream as a thickening agent (E406), etc
 
[C19: Malay]

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

agar a·gar (ā'gär', ä'gär') or a·gar-a·gar (ā'gär-ā'gär', ä'gär-ä'-)
n.

  1. A gelatinous material derived from marine algae, used as a base for bacterial culture media and as a stabilizer and thickener in food.

  2. A culture medium containing this material.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
agar   (ā'gär', ä'gär')  Pronunciation Key 
A gelatinous material obtained from marine algae, especially seaweed, used as a medium for growing bacterial cultures in the laboratory and as a thickener and stabilizer in food products.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

agar-agar

gelatin-like product made primarily from the algae Gelidium and Gracilaria (red seaweeds). Best known as a solidifying component of bacteriological culture media, it is used also in canning meat, fish, and poultry; in cosmetics, medicines, and dentistry; as a clarifying agent in brewing and wine making; as a thickening agent in ice cream, pastries, desserts, and salad dressings; and as a wire-drawing lubricant. Agar is isolated from the algae as an amorphous and translucent product sold as powder, flakes, or bricks. It is produced chiefly in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and Russia. Although agar is insoluble in cold water, it absorbs as much as 20 times its own weight. It dissolves readily in boiling water; a dilute solution is still liquid at 42 C (108 F) but solidifies at 37 C into a firm gel. In the natural state, agar occurs as a complex cell-wall constituent containing a complex carbohydrate (polysaccharide) with sulfate and calcium.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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