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other uses[edit]

Agar is not digested by bacteria at all, ever. That is why it is used in bacterial culture, because the agar will remain intact while the bacteria digest the nutrients within it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:22, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Several bacterial species have agarases, but not all. Commonly cultivated species in the lab are often either pathogens or useful biotechnologically, some species, isolated from marine enviroments can grow on agar with M9 salts without glucose. --Squidonius (talk) 00:30, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

media nomenclature[edit]

If agar is added to a medium, should it be called a synthetic or semisynthetic medium? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 06:52, 7 August 2005 (UTC).


This page refers to 'the microbes' as a subset of micro-organisms, but the link to 'microbe' is a redirect to 'micro-organism'. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 18:49, 15 September 2005 (UTC).


you explain what is the medium, but you don't explain the various types of medium, like lauril sulfate agar. what is constitution? or for what the medium serve. this are very importante assunts relatives the medium, because the medium isn't only one, exist millions of them. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11:16, 28 September 2005 (UTC).

no big deal - Gelidium[edit]

It's no big deal, but the genus Gelidium could be written like so -> Gelidium. :) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Romunov (talkcontribs) 17:23, 17 October 2005 (UTC).

It's unclear what the relationship between Agar and Kantem is. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by RedHouse18 (talkcontribs) 20:32, 27 July 2006 (UTC).

Readergardener 15:31, 17 February 2007 (UTC) In Macrobiotic Cooking, kanten is the product of dissolving agar agar in a liquid and cooling it, just as gelatin in a sugary liquid make the trade-named "Jello". The advantage of agar agar is once dissolved and cooled the product stays firm and does not melt as "Jello" does in warm weather. Also it is non-animal for vegetarians. Combine heated fruit and/or vegetable juice with agar agar and add pieces of fruit, once it cools in refrigeration it makes a wonderful kanten. Readergardener 15:31, 17 February 2007 (UTC) Signe, 2/17/2007

other stuff[edit]

I found a couple of interesting "facts" on this page:

  • The word agar comes from the Malay word "agar-agar" meaning jelly.
  • It was in 1881 that Robert Koch showed the value of agar in culturing bacteria, and imported the stuff from Japan which had a monopoloy on the agar trade until 1940...
  • Although Koch is credited, the idea really came from a woman working for him.
  • There is an article in ASM News Vol 58, #8, p 425-428, 1992, by Wolfgang Hesse telling about his family and their contributions to Bacti. Evidently Lina Hesse, tech and illustrator for her husband Walther Hesse suggested agar-agar when asked asked why her jellies and puddings stayed solid in the hot summers in Dresden. Walther told Koch about it. Do check the article if you want more information - it is a nice one. Lina Hesse was an American - Fanny Angelina Eilshemius from NY.

Posts on a message board aren't verifiable facts, which is why I'll throw them here in the talk page. 16:49, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I found a source for the word origin: when you type "jelly" in the Malay translator and press the translate button, it produces "agar-agar" as the result. I'm not sure how to cite this source in the article though, and I welcome anyone with such Wiki expertise to do so. --Microbiojen 21:20, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Koch's agar agar[edit]

I heard the "woman" was his wife. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Romunov (talkcontribs) 06:41, 30 May 2006 (UTC).

Blood agar horse or sheep?[edit]

This article mentions blood agar is "generally combined with horse blood", but Agar plate says it's "usually sheep". Which is correct? --Fastolfe00 00:52, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


It depends on the application. Sheep blood is recommended for isolating hemolytic bacteria in dental samples. --Microbiojen 23:01, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

In my lab, we use horse blood agar when isolating Listeria spp., and sheep blood agar for culturing a mixture of Streptococci. There are differences in the zones of haemolysis on the plates. Lance Tyrell 15:22, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Agar is not culture medium[edit]

The section "Uses in microbiology" does not explain the use of Agar at all. It explains the use of culture media (of which agar is one component) and so does not belong on this page. Microbiojen 22:52, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I also think, that the first sentence: "Agar is a gelatinous substance chiefly used as a culture medium for microbiological work." is not right! The main use and tranditional use of agar is for food (sweets and deserts) in asia. That agar is now used in microbiology is a modern use, and, if compared to the amount eaten, not the main use. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11:41, 28 July 2007 (UTC).

Very good point... has anyone looked into this?--Tallard 01:34, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Agar vs. Carrageenan[edit]

It seems that these are basically the same, but maybe derived from slightly different algae species with slightly different compositions. Should they be merged?

[1] This page describes the difference. (talk) 23:08, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Vietnamese name[edit]

Need Vietnamese name. Badagnani (talk) 04:57, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

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The article could go into the history a bit more. For example, it doesn't mention it's use in deserts outside of Japan, I know it's not uncommon in Malaysia deserts and the origin of the name suggests this isn't an extremely recent thing Nil Einne (talk) 03:21, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I saw a seaweed info website that ascribes the accidental discovery of agar to a Japanese innkeeper. It mentions the possibility of the name agar-agar being picked up by the Dutch in 17th century while trading with Japan, so this discovery would have been 17th century or earlier. This seems more likely than it being recently "first invented by Agar Scientific Limited," which is what the entry currently says. The website of Agar Scientific says it was established in 1972, which is about 90 years after agar was first used as a solid culture medium. Cabbitstorm (talk) 16:24, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

The mention of Agar Scientific Limited was added, complete with the "citation needed", by IP user in this edit on 27 March 2012. This is the IP user's only edit as of today, 25 April 2012; the IP address resolves to an domain, ostensibly in or near Bath, Somerset, UK. Given also the dubiousness of this claim, and that it contradicts older cited info later in the article, I went ahead and deleted this clearly spurious addition. -- Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 05:34, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Its kinda weird that the history isnt presented chronologically, so it begins with it being subject to chemical analysis in 1856 and then afterwards mentions agar's use since 1658 in japan. I can't think of a clear reason why the history shouldn't be presented in chronological order here (I do see more generally that sometimes a defining use or understanding of something should be presented frist to provide a context for its previous uses but I'm not convinced that's the case here with agar). As a result I'm changing the structure of the history section for now, although I am not very informed on this subject and the section will require further work after this. (talk) 23:31, 13 August 2017 (UTC)


The name Agar,and Kanten(because agar comes from Japan)shoud be explain, but what is the reasen to write many names in many language? If there is no counterargument, I will erase except Agar and Kanten.Volclex (talk) 11:54, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Don't remove them; they're fascinating. What's the harm in having them? —Keenan Pepper 15:55, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a translation dictionary, it's an encyclopedia. Translations should be put in Wiktionary. Kaldari (talk) 02:33, 10 July 2011 (UTC)


Two paragraphs of this article were copied directly from I've deleted most of the plagiarized material and reworded the rest. Kaldari (talk) 02:34, 10 July 2011 (UTC)


Could someone add an explanation of what the word "agaroid" refers to? It seems to be related to agar, but I'm not sure how. Kaldari (talk) 02:35, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

The suffix -oid means "similar", so an "agaroid" would be something that is similar to agar. (talk) 20:08, 3 October 2012 (UTC)


I see that agarose is redirected to agar, but really it should have its own page. Agarose has different properties, is used differently in molecular biology from agar, and there are different types of agarose with different melting and gelling points. Gel electrophoresis for example is done with agarose, not agar, and it would be wrong to list it as a use of agar. Hzh (talk) 19:28, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

I will remove the redirect and give agarose its own page if no one objects. I won't do this for a while yet just to give time to people to voice their opinion or objection if they have one. The section on molecular biology will be deleted and moved to the agarose page because agar simply isn't use for gel electrophoresis and the other applications mentioned. Cell motility assay can be done using agar or agarose, so that section will stay. Hzh (talk) 19:29, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Distinction between Agar and Kanten[edit]

Wikipedia article as written does not distinguish between Agar and Kanten. I would just note that in Japan, they are two different things. Agar was designed to be a substitute for western gelatin, based on seaweeds, algae and bean gum. Kanten is firmer and a bit brittle, derived from Tengusa, a specific type of red seaweed. Kanten is most well-known when used to make jelly noodles called Tokoroten.

Fx6893 (talk) 13:25, 17 June 2014 (UTC)


Since agar does not actually contain gelatine, the use of the word 'gelatinous' may cause confusion on people who specifically avoid gelatine, such as vegetarians. A better description may be "gelatine-free 'jelly' forming".--LL221W (talk) 11:23, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


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"Better" gelling temperature than gelatin?[edit]

So what's better about it.... colder? hotter? If someone knows, please clarify thanks (talk) 05:17, 12 March 2016 (UTC)

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