Microbiology => Agar
Agar, gel-forming material of widespread commercial use, found in the cell wall of several species of red algae, especially Oriental members of the genus Gelidium. It is used as a solidifying agent in the preparation of candies, creams and lotions, and canned fish and meat; as a texturizer or emulsifier in ice cream and frozen desserts; as a clarifying agent in winemaking and brewing; and as a sizing material in fabrics. It is an excellent laboratory medium for growing bacteria, because it is not dissolved by salts or consumed by most microorganisms.
Agar is extracted from seaweed by boiling, and is cooled and dried and sold as flakes or cakes. Originally called agar-agar, a Malay word for a local seaweed, it was produced in the Far East but is now made in other Pacific coastal regions such as California and Australia.