Plant Hydrocolloids

Plant Hydrocolloids


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As one of the outstanding suppliers of hydrocolloids, Alfa Chemistry can provide a wide variety of high-quality plant hydrocolloid solutions for a wide range of applications such as food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc., such as carrageenan, alginate, angular Fork gum, konjac gum, guar gum, etc. Our sustainable production model works hand in hand with our customers to create a green economy.

Plant Hydrocolloids


According to the plant origin of the colloid and its function in the plant organism, plant hydrocolloids can be divided into the following categories:

Plant Hydrocolloids

Among the above-mentioned plant hydrocolloids, cellulose is the one with the largest yield. This is due to its wide range of sources, wood, non-wood plants (such as cotton fiber, pea shell fiber, etc.), bacteria and tunicates can be used to produce cellulose. In addition, physical and chemical modification can also be used to obtain nanofibrillated cellulose and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), such as carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), methyl cellulose (MC), hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose cellulose (HPMC) and hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC).

Fig.1 Typical reactions of hydroxyl groups in cellulose.Fig.1 Typical reactions of hydroxyl groups in cellulose.[4]

Alfa Chemistry not only produces naturally derived plant hydrocolloids, but also offers physically and chemically modified derivatives.

Research and Development

The most important application of plant hydrocolloids is as food additives. Their high molecular weight, long chain structure, and excellent hydrophilicity can be used to control edible properties such as moisture, structure, viscosity, fluidity, and stability of foods. In addition, plant hydrocolloids are also used in bioprinting and biomanufacturing research and applications, for example, soy protein can be widely used as bioink for 3D bioprinting; carrageenan and its derivatives can be used to prepare controlled drug delivery systems and hydrogels.

Composite plant hydrocolloids with other materials can further expand their application fields, for example, agar gels can be used to clean delicate artwork surfaces; alginate-based composites can be used to remove various pollutants in wastewater, they can also be used for tissue engineering and wound dressing applications.

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Plant Hydrocolloids

Plant Hydrocolloids

  • Strong hydrophilicity and high viscosity
  • Rich in physiological functions
  • High gel strength
  • Good stability
  • Wide source of raw materials


  1. Wuestenberg T. Cellulose and Cellulose Derivatives in the Food Industry: Fundamentals and Applications[M]. Institution of Electronic and Radio Engineers. 2014.
  2. YuChen Liao, et al. Algae-derived hydrocolloids in foods: applications and health-related issues. Bioengineered. 2021.
  3. A Yemenicioğlu, et al. A review of current and future food applications of natural hydrocolloids. International Journal of Food ence & Technology. 2020.
  4. Hongyang Ma, et al. Encyclopedia of Membranes: Modified Cellulose[M]. 2016.

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