One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An insoluble gelatinous carbohydrate found (chiefly as salts) in many brown seaweeds. The sodium salt is used as a thickener in foods and many other materials.
- ‘Food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries use three common types of hydrocolloid extensively when thickening or gelling properties are required: carrageenan and agar from red seaweeds and alginic acid from brown seaweeds.’
- ‘Consider how slowly gelatin evaporates and you get a feel for how alginic acid works.’
- ‘Under similar conditions the polysaccharides with carboxyl groups, such as alginic acid and polygalacturonic acid, also photodecomposed.’
- ‘One study, featured in a 1986 supplemental issue office Journal of Hypertension, indicated alginic acid, a compound found in seaweed fiber, probably had something to do with the heart-healthy effects.’
- ‘Their main component, alginic acid, is converted into calcium salts (which are water-insoluble) and sodium salts (which are water-soluble).’
Late 19th century: alginic from alga + -in + -ic.
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