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Agar-agar belongs to the family of galactan polysaccharides. Galactan polysaccharides are complex linear sugar polymers containing 22 galactose molecules. It is present in the cell walls of Rhodophyceae class of red algae. Agar is produced in several species of marine algae found across the globe. Most commercial agar-agar is extracted from Gelidium and Gracilaria species. Other commonly used species include Pterocladia and Gelidiella.

Agar Agar Gum Market: Drivers and Restraints

Gelling and thickening properties of agar agar are anticipated to drive the agar agar gum market during the forecast period. The F&B industry is likely to witness an increase in demand for agar agar gum, in the next few years, as a stabilizer and solidifying agent. Agar agar gum is preferred over other polysaccharides due to the large hystersis between the melting and setting temperatures of agar agar gum, an unusual property of a polysaccharide. Agar-agar is primarily utilized in the F&B industry, due to high compatibility of agar agar gum in sugary environment, in order to provide stable structure to concentrated sugary system. Thus, the demand for agar agar gum is expected to rise significantly from sugary food products even after the forecast period. However, rising health concerns (diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.) due to these processed sugary products are likely to hamper the agar agar gum market in the near future.

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Agar Agar Gum Market: Segmentation

Based on form, the agar agar gum market can be segmented into:

  • Powder
  • Flakes
  • Strips

The powder segment held a prominent share of the agar agar gum market in 2016, due to its increased usage in applications such as bakery & confectionery, jellies, gums, etc. The powdered form of agar agar gum is easy to use and relatively inexpensive, as compared to other forms of agar agar gum.

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Agar Agar Gum Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the agar agar gum market include Meron Group, Marine Science Co. Ltd., TIC Gums, and New Zealand Manuka Group. Key manufactures are investing in R&D for development of innovative products.