Differences between Agar and Agarose

Thu, 25/02/2021 - 11:27
agar agarose

Agar and Agarose are two products made from rhodophyceae algae, but they can be confused with each other despite having different characteristics and fields of application.  

An essential field of application for agar is Microbiology. Its main purpose is to provide a more or less rigid culture media on which microorganisms can grow and develop. Additionally, there are other important fields of application for agar; its use as a thickening or gelling agent in the food industry stands out above all. On the other hand, Agarose is a fundamental and essential tool in the field of Molecular Biology. Basically, its role is to create structures with the capacity to separate and/or fix different biological particles and molecules, by means of electrophoretic and chromatographic techniques.  Agarose is also used in the field of microbiology, but to a much lesser extent than agar.  

While Agar is extracted directly from the cell wall of different species of red algae (Gelidium, Gracilaria...), Agarose is obtained later from the agar through a complex and costly purification process.  

Regarding Agar's chemical nature, it is a linear-chain polysaccharide, and two well differentiated fractions can be distinguished in its composition: Agarose and Agaropectin. While Agarose is formed by long uncharged chains, Agaropectin is formed by shorter and heterogeneous sulphated chains.

Hispanagar has a catalog that includes a wide range of Bacteriological and Food grade agars, as well as Agaroses. All are subject to strict QC checks in order to ensure that the highest quality is achieved.