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food grade propylene glycol alginate:
Propylene glycol alginate (PGA) is an additive used mainly as a thickening agent in certain types of food. It is made from the kelp plant or from certain kinds of algae, which is processed and transformed into a yellowish, grainy chemical powder. The powder is then added to foods that require thickening. It has been used for many years as a food preservative, and many food manufacturing companies use it in common items.
There are three primary reasons for using propylene glycol alginate. First, it thickens liquid but it also stabilizes it. For example, the foam in beer can be stabilized by using this chemical as can fruit juices or foamy dairy products.
It is also considered an emulsifier, which means that it keeps foods fresher because it acts as a preservative. Certain foods have a tendency to change color or consistency over a period of time, for example, and propylene glycol alginate helps to slow down that process.
Most types of gel-like foods, including yogurt, jellies and jams, ice cream, and salad dressing use propylene glycol alginate as additive.