This is an extremely importantresult and not just for the obvious. Alginate does not need to be a flavor source at all. Thus it can be folded easily into processedfoods. Thus we can use it to preparehamburgers.
This means that the fast foodindustry mainstay can be engineered to be effectively fat neutral or even fatnegative in order to offset the impact of the deep fryer.
The health problem posed by thefast food industry has been its reliance on fat rich foods. A large portion of that problem can now beeliminated with the strategic addition of alginate.
A well prepared hamburger is notyour friend as your gall bladder will tell you. Alginate changes that, so expect it to be readily available in purepowdered form sometime soon if it is not already.
Eat This Asian Snack to Lose Weight
You know those pills that block fat absorption? There may be a naturalsnack that offers a similar benefit: toasted nori.
This crispy Japanese munchie -- made of thin sheets of seaweed thathave been roasted or toasted and lightly salted -- could help your body blockfat calories. In a new study, a special fiber found in seaweed appeared toinhibit fat absorption by over 75 percent!
The fat-blocking fiber in seaweed is called alginate. And in a recent lab studyusing an artificial gut, alginate interfered with a key enzyme responsible forbreaking down dietary fat. The likely result in a real gut? Theundigested fat would just pass right through and get expelled, which means fewerfat calories to use or store. Another small study using alginate-spiked drinksprovides additional evidence of the fat-blocking effect. In that study, gettingjust 1.5 grams per day of alginate fiber caused a reduction in calorie intakeover the course of a week. (Here'sanother way that extra fiber can help you lose weight.)
The Road to Alginate
More studies are needed before alginate can be recommended as a weight lossaid. But the research is a good reason to be more adventurous in your eating.Start enjoying dishes made out of -- or seasoned with -- edible seaweed andyou'll get not only a fiber boost but also a healthy dose of calcium, iron,magnesium, and B vitamins. Toasted nori snacks -- available in many Asianmarkets -- are just one way to enjoy produce from the sea. You can also makesoups or salads with wakame, a slightly sweet leafy sea vegetable.
Uses from Wikipedia
Its form as a flavorless gum, isused by the foods industry to increase viscosity and asan emulsifier.It is also used in indigestion tablets and the preparation of dentalimpressions.
A major application for sodium alginate is in reactive dye printing,as as thickener for reactive dyestuffs (such as the Procion cotton-reactivedyes) in textile screen-printing and carpet jet-printing. Alginates do notreact with these dyes and wash out easily, unlike starch-based thickeners.
Sodium alginate is a good chelator for pulling radioactive toxins fromthe body, such as iodine-131 and strontium-90 that have taken the place oftheir non-radioactive counterparts. It isalso used in immobilizing enzymes by inclusion.
As a food additive, sodium alginate is used especially in theproduction of gel-like foods. For example, bakers' "Chellies" areoften gelled alginate "jam." Also, the pimento stuffing in preparedcocktail olives is usually injected as a slurry at the same time that the stoneis ejected; the slurry is subsequently set by immersing the olive in a solutionof a calcium salt, which causes rapid gelation byelectrostatic cross-linking. A similar processcan be used to make "chunks" of everything from cat food through"reformed" ham or fish to "fruit" pieces for pies. It hasthe E-number 401.
Nowadays, it is also used in the biological experiments for theimmobilization of cells to obtain important products like alcohols, organicacids, etc.
In recent years, sodium alginate has been used in molecular gastronomy atsome of the best restaurants in the world. FerranAdria pioneered the technique, and it has since been used by chefssuch as Grant Achatz and Heston Blumenthal.Sodium alginate is combined with calcium lactate or similar compound to createspheres of liquid surrounded by a thin jelly membrane.