Sodium alginate

Sodium alginate, the sodium salt form of alginic acid and gum, is primarily extracted from cell walls of brown algae 1. Algin is extracted from Macrocytis pyrifera, giant kelp 2. Alginates are polysaccharides 2, 3. The composition of alginate includes proportions of β-D-mannuronic acid and α-L-guluronic acid linked by 1-4 glycosidic bonds 3. Algin (sodium alginate) provides both flexibility and strength to the tissue of brown seaweed because of its gelling properties 2. For thousands of years, seaweed has been used as food for animals and humans 2. Sodium Alginate is likely safe with oral use of amounts found typically in foods 2, 4. Sodium Alginate is affirmed as GRAS for specific functional use as described in FDA (Food and Drug Administration) (21CFR184.1724) 5, 6.

This ingredient can be found in the following products in United States:


  1. U. S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). National Institutes of Health (NIH). National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem open chemistry database. Compound Summary for CID 5102882. Sodium Alginate.
  2. Natural medicines database. Professional monograph. Algin (also known as Sodium Alginate). Product ID 275. Subscription required.,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=275
  3. Hay ID, Rehman ZU, Ghafoor A, Rehm BHA. Mini-review. Bacterial biosynthesis of alginates. [Abstract]. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 2010;85(6)
  4. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of common natural ingredients used in food, drugs, and cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
  5. U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Code of Federal Regulations. CFR. Title 21. Part 184—Substances Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). 21CFR184.1724. Sodium alginate. Revised 4/1/2018. Available at:
  6. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR). U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Title 21: Food and Drugs. Subchapter B—Food for Human Consumption. Part 184 – Direct Food Substances Affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). Subpart B Listing of specific substances affirmed as GRAS. Sec. 21CFR 184.1724. Sodium Alginate. Current as of 3/11/2019.