Qindao Kanten ® is the trade name of refined agar produced by Libangda.
Qiongzhi, known as Agar and called Kanten in Japan. It is a kind of polysaccharide extracted from red algae such as gelidium and gracilaria, is one of most widely used algae colloids. In China, at very beginning, it is made by Hainan province (shorted as Qiong) origin gelidium, therefore, it is called Qiongzhi in China.
In China and Japan, it has been several hundred years of edible history. It appeared at first in form of Jelly-like block which is still available nowadays. Before World War II, agar as farmer families’ sideline only can be handmade in cold winter days in forms of linear and square. Between World War II and after that, Western countries began to industrialize the production of agar powder. Powder agar was initially used as bacteria culture, later extended to food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries etc. Agar has unique gel performance and gel stability, which has a wide range of applications in food industry, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and biological engineering industries etc.
Agar is extracted from red algae, in which gelidium and gracilaria is the main source.
Gracilaria primarily grow in coastal intertidal and subtidal areas of tropical and temperate zone, there are about 150 species around the world. In China, the main gracilaria species are Gracilaria lemaneiformis, Gracilaria Tenuistipitata,Gracilaria Blodgettii. Gelidium primarily grow in low tide zone rocks or 5-30m deep stone below the low tide, around the world there are more than 50 species. In addition, other agar raw materials are anfeltia, Ceramium, Gloiopeltis, Polysiphonia etc. red algae.
Different raw materials lead agar to be of different gel properties and different applications and performances accordingly.
The process is based on principle of extraction, separation and dehydration. Extraction by boiling water, filtering to remove impurities, then dehydration and drying after solidification.
Agar can be used as gelling agent, thickener, suspending agent or stabilizers, Moreover, agar itself is colorless and odorless, when added, foods’ original flavor will not be effect and can be fully released, such as fruits and milk etc. Meanwhile, agar is rich in natural dietary fiber, helpful in intestines peristalsis and make easy relieving, decrease blood sugar and blood lipid. These properties allow agar can be used in a variety of foods and dietary supplements.
In recent years, more and more people pay attention on vegetarian, agar, made by natural and healthy raw material began to substitute for animal gelatin, which is used in yogurt, pudding, ice cream, candy, cheese, mousse, etc. , known as “vegetarian gelatin.”
Besides, agar, as bacterial culture media and gelling agent is also used in biochemistry, medicine, cosmetics and other fields.