A salt (usually the sodium salt) of alginic acid, a complex polysaccharide present in the cell walls and between the cells in brown seaweeds (Phaeophyta). When extracted from the seaweed and mixed with water, many algins make very thick, viscous solutions. They have a number of commercial uses (e.g. as stabilizers in ice-cream and other foods, and as suspending agents in paints and pharmaceutical preparations).
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.