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Sodium Alginate

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 15, 2023.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Sodium alginate, also known as algin, is a carbohydrate product of a seaweed, Macrocystis pyrifera. Sodium alginate is used as a gel in pharmaceutical preparations. Sodium Alginate (E401) is extracted from brown seaweed. It is also used as a stabilizer, thickener and emulsifier for food products such as ice cream, yogurt, cream, and cheese. It acts as a thickener and emulsifier for salad, pudding, jam, tomato juice, and canned products. It is a hydration agent for noodles, bread, cool and frozen products. It is a cold gelling agent that needs no heat to gel. It is most commonly used with calcium lactate or calcium chloride in the spherification process.[1][2]

List of medications using Sodium Alginate


  1. Algin. Accessed March 1, 2015 at
  2. Modernist Pantry. Sodium alginate. Accessed March 1, 2015 at

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.