Sodium Alginate

Natural sourced sodium alginate ingredient

Alginates is extracted from brown seaweeds and converted into the raw material commonly known as sodium alginate ingredient. It is used by Molecular Chefs for the spherification process as sodium alginate ingredient forms a gel in the presence of calcium ions.

A gelling agent

Sodium Alginate is a gelling agent that dilutes when cold with strong agitation. This ingredient can be used to create soft or firm gels, ambient, heat-resistant gels and can also be used to produce foams. Sodium Alginate is also commonly used as a thickener, emulsifier and texture improver ingredient. Suitable for vegan ingredient and Vegetarian’s, Non GMO, Gluten Free, Halal friendly.

The chemistry of sodium alginate

Sodium alginate is the sodium salt of alginic acid. Its empirical formula is NaC6H7O6. Sodium alginate ingredient is a gum, extracted from the cell walls of brown algae.

Gin and Tonic Sphere 3 - sodium alginate.jpg

What food is sodium alginate used in?

It is used as a stabiliser for ice creamyogurtcream, and cheese. It acts as a thickener and emulsifier for saladpuddingjam, tomato juice, and canned products. The most common application of sodium alginate in molecular gastronomy is to create spheres using the spherification technique developed by Chef Ferran Adria at el Bulli restaurant in 2003. The resulting spheres have a thin membrane of gel and are filled with liquid.

A common use of sodium alginate in the food industry is to make the pimiento strips inside pitted olives. 

Sodium alginate is also used as stabilisers in ice cream. The addition of sodium alginate reduces the formation of ice crystals during freezing, giving a smooth result.