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Agar agar and gelatin are both gelling and thickening ingredients used in a variety of recipes. Unlike gelatin, which is derived from mammals, agar agar is derived from red algae.

The difference between agar agar and gelatin is that agar agar is created from red algae and is thus appropriate for vegans, but gelatin is made from animals and cannot be taken by strict vegetarians.

It’s worth mentioning that agar agar is a popular vegan replacement for gelatin.

What Is Agar Agar?

Agar is a jelly-like material derived from red algae. Most Asian cuisines make extensive use of agar-agar. It has a sticky, chewy feel and is used to make edible gums.

It is a common vegan food alternative that is used to replace gelatin in vegan meals. Agar powder, flakes, and bars may be purchased at health food stores, mostly in China, Japan, and Korea.

Agar aids in the stabilization of gels as well as the thickening of liquids and baked goods. Agar may be found in ice cream, custards, and delicate desserts such as cheesecake and panna cotta.

It offers little health advantages due to its low calorie, cholesterol, and carbohydrate content.

What Is Gelatin?

Gelatin is a thickening and gelling ingredient derived from the skin, bones, ligaments, and tendons of animals such as cows, horses, and even pigs.

Gelatin powder may be purchased at large health food shops. It has a good quantity of calcium since it may also be produced from bones.

Gelatin is a common component in jellies, marshmallows, and puddings.

While dry, it is brittle, and when wet or damp, it becomes rubbery. Gelatin is also tasteless, odorless, and occasionally colorless.

It dissolves in polar solvents such as water, acetic acid, and glycerol. Gelatin absorbs about 5- 10 times its weight in order to create a gel.

Gelatin’s melting point is not set since it varies with temperature.

What Is Agar Agar Used For?

1. Culinary Purposes

Jellies and custards include agar. Jelly is made by boiling the liquid until the substance dissolves.

Further sweeteners, colorings, and flavorings are then added to them before being poured into molds and served.

Agar-agar contains around 80% dietary fiber and is utilized as an intestinal regulator.

2. Microbiology

A petri dish is used to make a growth medium out of agar and other ingredients. Since agar is indigestible to bacteria, its growth would have no effect on the gel’s growth.

Agar is also used as a natural element in the production of clay pots, as an imprint material by dentists, and as an organic fertilizer by farmers.

What Is Gelatin Used For?

1. Gelling Agents

Gelatin is well-known for being one of the greatest gelling ingredients in a variety of recipes.

Gelatin may be found in dishes such as aspic, trifles, marshmallows, and cotton candy, as well as confections such as gummy bears, fruit salads, and jelly babies.

2. Stabilizing Agents

It is also used as a stabilizer, texturizer, or thickening in yoghurt and margarine. Gelatin is used in several varieties of Chinese dumplings, including Shanghainese and xiaolongbao.

3. Clarification Of Juices

Gelatin is used in several juice clarifying techniques. This is used to clarify juices such as apple juice and vinegar.

4. Medical Purposes

Most medications’ shells are made of gelatin to make them easier to swallow. Other applications include animal glue, match head binder, and sandpaper.

Is Agar Agar the Same as Gelatin?

Agar-agar and gelatin are not synonymous. Whereas agar is derived from a red alga, gelatin is derived from the skin, bones, and ligaments of animals such as sheep, cattle, and pigs.

Because of their comparable gelling and stabilizing properties, one may be replaced for the other in recipes. Yet, in the case of vegan cuisine, agar is preferred since it is made entirely of plant matter.

Agar Agar Vs Gelatin: The Difference


Gelatin is used in photography and cosmetics, while agar is used for microbiological studies and as a laxative in chemistry.

Difference In Form

Agar-agar is white, transparent, and available in strips and powders, while gelatin is colorless, translucent, and available in granules, sheets, or powder.

Nutritional Properties

Agar is low in fats and cholesterol and abundant in calcium and iron, making it ideal for anyone looking to reduce weight and stay healthy.

At the same time, excessive use of gelatin causes protein mass loss.


Agar is created only from red algae, while gelatin is obtained from the collagen found in pork, cow bones, and cattle skins.

Can You Substitute Gelatin for Agar Agar?

Although while gelatin is a good alternative for agar, the same results should not be anticipated since gelation produces a creamy texture whereas agar is stiffer.

Even if you wish to use gelatin as a replacement, use it in a 1:8 ratio ( agar powder to gelatin powder).

Can You Mix Agar and Gelatin?

While it is not always essential, they may be utilized together. Gelatin, when coupled with water, generates a gel that holds water and becomes flexible, which is why it is used in gluten-free pizzas.

Agar is also used to thicken batters and dough in gluten-free recipes, and when water is added to agar, the effects are almost identical.

If they are both utilized excessively or in a more minor manner than is necessary, the bread may get mushy, since even the smallest error may ruin a whole meal.

To get the best results, thoroughly combine the dried gelatin and agar before adding water.

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What is the main difference between agar agar and gelatin?

In different recipes, agar and gelatin perform comparable functions as gelling and thickening ingredients. Although gelatin is derived from animals, agar is derived from red algae, making it a popular vegetarian alternative to gelatin.

What is the major difference between using gelatin instead of agar as a solidifying agent in culture media?

Another interesting property of agar was that it melted at 100o C but solidified at 45o C. What advantages may this have? Gelatin, on the other hand, melts and solidifies at the same temperature, around 35o C. Agar is also a gel that enables water and other soluble nutrients to diffuse freely.

What are two advantages of agar over gelatin?

Agar is popular because it is stable across a broad temperature range (solidification temperature between 32 and 42°C and melting temperature about 85°C) and hence appropriate for the development of mesophilic organisms.

What is the difference between agar agar and pectin?

One significant distinction between pectin powder and agar agar is that pectin contains sugar. As a result, although it’s fantastic for sweets, avoid using it in savory dishes. For agar agar powder, use a 3:1 ratio of pectin. Pectin, unlike agar agar, may be added immediately to the recipe without any previous processing.

Can agar-agar be used interchangeably with gelatin?

Is Gelatin and Agar-Agar the Same Thing? Agar-agar is often used in place of gelatin or even cornstarch, another common thickening agent. It should be noted that agar-agar differs significantly from gelatin in the following ways: A liquid set using agar will not be an exact duplicate of a liquid set with gelatin.

Can you use gelatin instead of agar-agar for grow bacteria?

If you decide you need to use anything other than agar, gelatin is an excellent option; however, you may have to spend more effort adjusting the technique to utilize gelatin.

Why is agar used in media and not gelatin?

Because of its greater melting temperature, agar soon displaced gelatin as the substrate of microbiological media, enabling microorganisms to be cultured at higher temperatures without the medium liquefying. Agar manufacturing swiftly surged due to its newfound usage in microbiology.

What are the two advantages of using agar instead of gelatin to solidify growth media?

They are often used as a solidifying agent in culture medium over gelatin for the following reasons: Agar is proven to be stable across a broad temperature range. It has a melting temperature of 85° Celsius and a solidification temperature of 32° to 40° Celsius.

What are two reasons that scientists use agar as a solid medium rather than gelatin?

Explain two reasons why scientists prefer agar over gelatin as a solid medium. Gives bacteria a firm surface to grow on. Several kinds of microorganisms can destroy gelatin since it does not offer a nutrition supply.

What are two unique properties of agar?

Temperature control. Among its key characteristics are its strong gel strength at low concentrations, low viscosity in solution, high transparency in solution, thermo-reversible gel, and sharp melting point.

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