Propylene glycol alginate (PGA) with E number 405 is used as thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier in food products. This food additive is also called hydroxypropyl alginate, propane 1,2-diol alginate, or E405. Its appearance is white to yellowish brown filamentous, grainy, granular or powder. PGA is an ester of alginic acid and is obtained from algae.
Uses of Propylene Glycol Alginate
Propylene glycol alginate is used in foods such as jellies and jams, ice cream and salad dressing. The food additive propylene glycol is generally regarded safe (not to be confused with ethylene glycol, which is extremely toxic if ingested) according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As propylene glycol alginate barely includes gluten impurity, so it is gluten free and widely used in gluten free food to provide stronger texture to salad dressing and fast food. What's more, PGA can be used as beer foam stabiliser to improve the performance of bubble in brewery industry.
Side Effects of Propylene Glycol Alginate (PGA)
According the FDA, propylene glycol food additive is metabolized in the body and is used as a normal carbohydrate source. Large quantity uses of propylene glycol alginate could lead to irritation, nausea, coughing and wheezing. It is suggested that newborns, children, pregnant women consult professionals before using. Long-term and proper use of propylene glycol (up to five percent of the total food intake) can be consumed without causing toxicity.
Is Propylene Glycol Alginate Halal?
Propylene glycol alginate is a plant derived ingredient, so it is a halal ingredient that can be used in food and beverage. The manufacturing process is pig-free and its raw materials (or culture medium) are algin and propylene glycol. PGA is an ester of alginic acid. Pure alcohol may be applied in manufacturing of propylene glycol alginate, but alcohol will be fully removed from the final product.