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Sodium Alginate E401
As a food additive, sodium alginate is used especially in the production of gel-like foods. For example, bakers' "Chellies" are often gelled alginate "jam." Also, the pimento stuffing in prepared cocktail olives is usually injected as a slurry at the same time that the stone is ejected; the slurry is subsequently set by immersing the olive in a solution of a calcium salt, which causes rapid gelation by electrostatic cross-linking. A similar process can be used to make "chunks" of everything from cat food through "reformed" ham or fish to "fruit" pieces for pies. It has the E-number 401.