There are different types of alginates out of which alginates of sodium, calcium and potassium are the most popular in the market. Sodium alginate is a type of natural polysaccharide that is taken out from the seaweeds that grows in regions with cold water.
Sodium Alginate Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2016-2026
Due to its all-encompassing applications in the food industry, there is a huge market for sodium alginate and it is growing at a fast rate. As it is soluble in both hot and cold water, and in addition, it possesses the properties of thickening and hence it is also used as a binding material in various food preparations.
When heated without the presence of calcium, sodium alginate forms a gel like substance. Hence, sodium alginate is used mainly in combination with calcium salts in many cuisines to produce the desired effect in the cuisine.
The other application of sodium alginate is as an emulsifying agent, to increase the viscosity of liquids. Sodium alginate is also used in the manufacture of indigestion tablets as it is flavourless.
As convenience foods become more and more popular and due to their multi-functionality, the use of sodium alginate is surging in the market. However, the raw materials that are used in the preparation of sodium alginate are prone to seasonal changes, and this is restraining the market for the same.
Other factor restraining the use of sodium alginate is the rising cost of alginates. From a regional perspective, China, Japan, India and Brazil are emerging as lucrative markets for sodium alginate and these markets possess a high growth potential.
There are other uses of sodium alginate, and prominent among them are its use as thickeners for the paste containing the dye in the area of textile printing. Such type of pastes are applied to the fabric by screen or roller printing equipment.
A chemical reaction occurs due to which it binds with the cellulose present in the fabric. The main advantage of using sodium alginate in textile printing is that it doesn’t react with the dyes, can be easily washed out of the finished textile product and they are the best thickening option for the reactive dyes.
However, alginates are more expensive than starch, which is also used in textile printing. In addition, manufactures have started the production of nonreactive dyes as well, restricting the use of sodium alginate.
Even then, textile printing still is one of the most prominent uses of sodium alginate.
Sodium alginate is also used in medical field for the purpose of wound dressings. It is because of the property of sodium alginate forming fibres when applied in a bath of a calcium chloride solution, forming the fibres in the form of calcium alginate.
Such type of fibres have good strength in both wet and dry conditions. These fibres possess excellent wound healing and haemostatic properties.
The sodium which is present in the body reacts with calcium present in the fibres to give a soluble sodium alginate. Due to this process, it becomes easier to remove dressings from a large open wound or burns, since these fibres don’t stick to the wound.
Alginic acid powder that is present in sodium alginate swells when it becomes wet in the presence of water. Due to this property of sodium alginate, it is used in the manufacture of specialized biscuits, and when such type of biscuits are consumed, it gives a totally full feeling to the stomach, thus discouraging the further intake of food.
Such type of biscuits are thus used for the purpose of dieting and controlling the intake of food. Sodium alginate is also used for making substances that treat acidic indigestion in the stomach.
Some of the manufacturers of sodium alginate include FMC Corporation, Cargill, Inc., Qingdao Lanneret, KIMICA and DANISCO.
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