- Gelling agent
Gelling agents are materials used to thicken and stabilize liquid solutions,
emulsions, and suspensions. They dissolve in the liquid phase as a colloidmixture that forms an internal structure giving the resulting gelan appearance of a solid matter, while being mostly composed of a liquid. Gelling agents are very similar to thickeners.
Gelling agents are
food additives used to thicken and stabilize various foods, like jellies, desserts and candies. The agents provide the foods with texture through formation of a gel. Some stabilizers and thickening agents are gelling agents. See also gel.
Typical gelling agents include
natural gums, starches, pectins, agar-agarand gelatin. Often they are based on polysaccharides or proteins.
Alginic acid(E400), sodium alginate(E401), potassium alginate(E402), ammonium alginate(E403), calcium alginate(E404) - polysaccharides from brown algae
Agar(E406, a polysaccharide obtained from red seaweeds)
Carrageenan(E407, a polysaccharide obtained from red seaweeds)
Locust bean gum(E410, a natural gumfrom the seeds of the Carob tree)
Pectin(E440, a polysaccharide obtained from apple or citrus-fruit)
Gelatin(E441, made by partial hydrolysis of animal collagen)
In petrochemistry, gelling agents, also called solidifiers, are chemicals capable of reacting with
oil spills and forming rubber-like solids. The gelled coagulated oil then can be removed from the water surface by skimming, suction devices, or nets. Calm or only moderately rough sea is required.
Explosives and incendiaries
Various materials are used to convert
liquid explosives to a gel form. Nitrocelluloseand other nitro esters are often used. Other possibilities include nitrated guar gum[http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4112220.html] .
Gelling agents are also used for making materials for
incendiary devices. Examples are aluminium soaps, hydroxyl aluminium bis(2-ethylhexanoate), or polystyrenewith gasolinefor napalm, or polyisobutylenefor thickening triethylaluminium, resulting in thickened pyrophoric agent (TPA).
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