Gellan gum and agar are both hydrocolloids commonly used in the food industry to provide gelling and thickening properties. While they share some similarities, there are several differences between gellan gum and agar that make them suitable for different food applications. In this post, we'll explore the differences between these two hydrocolloids in detail.

  • Source: Agar is a polysaccharide that is extracted from red algae, while gellan gum is produced by fermenting glucose with the bacterium Sphingomonas elodea.
  • Gel strength: Agar forms a stronger gel than gellan gum. Agar can form a firm, brittle gel, Gellan gum low acyl can indeed form a stronger and firmer gel than agar. This property makes it a suitable option for food products that require a firmer texture, such as fruit spreads or jellies.while High acyl gellan gum forms a softer, more elastic gel.
  • Heat stability: Gellan gum is more heat-stable than agar. Gellan gum can withstand temperatures of up to 120°C, while agar begins to break down at temperatures above 85°C.
  • Syneresis: Agar gels tend to experience syneresis, which is the separation of liquid from the gel. This can result in a watery texture and an unappealing appearance. Gellan gum gels are less prone to syneresis, resulting in a more stable gel.
  • Clarity: Gellan gum gels are typically clearer than agar gels, which can be hazy or opaque.
  • pH range: Gellan gum is effective at a wider range of pH levels than agar. Gellan gum can form a gel in a pH range of 4-10, while agar requires a pH of around 6.5-8.
  • Flavor: Agar has a neutral flavor and does not affect the taste of the food product. Gellan gum can have a slight taste, which may affect the flavor of the food product.
  • Cost: Agar is typically less expensive than gellan gum, making it a more cost-effective option for some food applications.

In conclusion, while gellan gum and agar share some similarities, they have different properties that make them suitable for different food applications. Agar is a strong gelling agent that is less expensive and has a neutral flavor, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. Gellan gum, on the other hand, is more heat-stable, has a softer texture, and is less prone to syneresis, making it suitable for use in products that require stability at higher temperatures or have a higher water content.