Seaweed Gracilaria for Agar-Agar Market - Fresh Seaweed Suppliers, Seaweed Producers, Wasabi Seaweed, Frozen Seaweed, Seaweed Benefit

Seaweed Gracilaria for Agar-Agar Market

As the main ingredient to make agar-agar, seaweed gracilaria has an important role in the seaweed production of agar-agar. Gracilaria is a group of warm water seaweed and they can be found with wide range of species even more than one hundred. The first source of agar is Gelidium  from Japan till the beginning of the 20th century when the demand exceeded the supply of this alga and thus gracilaria is being used afterward. Agar-agar is extracted from these seaweeds and they can be found in coastal areas such as the shores, coral rubble, and abandoned nets, ropes as well as other objects left on the shore. More detailed information regarding this amazing seaweed species below.

Seaweed gracilaria for agar-agar ingredient
Seaweed gracilaria human use is mainly to produce agar-agar. The seaweed is harvested from either wildly method or seaweed farm while on the farm, they are grown on the ropes for commercial uses. Around 30,000 tons of gracilarian seaweed are produced each year and distributed around the world and about one third of this wonderful sea plant are come from South Africa while China is one of the first countries that cultivate gracilaria.
Agar-agar was known in both Japan and China for centuries, they are called as kanten by the Japanese while Chinese prefer called it as dongfen. Agar-agar used as flavored gel and sweetened. And it is said that the Chinese brought it to the South East Asian by the migrants and from that moment, dongfen called as agar-agar, a Malay name that even Chinese migrants used it. When the Europeans brought it to the Europe (via the Dutch), it was called as agar. Besides seaweed gracilaria, there are other seaweed species used to make agar-agar such as Gelidiella, Ahnfeltiopsis, Pterocladia, Gelidium, and Pterocladiella.
Gracilarian farming production method
There are four gracilarian cultivation and production methods which mostly used by seaweed farmers such as:
1.      Rope farming, gracilaria seaweed results in different amount or level of production depending on the species being cultivated and the climate conditions. The ropes used to cultivate and growing gracilaria seaweed can be nylon, monofilament, as well as other suitable lines. Before the ropes are used, they need to be checked especially the durability of the lines in seawater before the farmers purchase large amount of ropes.
2.      Pond farming
Cultivate seaweed in ponds have been conducted for centuries even till now. The seed stocks supplied from the wild and the ponds should be made in locations that are not exposed to the strong wind and near seawater or freshwater as the source to grow seaweeds. The water will be replaced after two to three days while the depth of the water maintained at 30-40 cm. Moreover, to make the seaweeds growing healthier and stronger, minerals like phosphates and nitrate can be added. Pond farming can produce around 34 tons per ha each year.
3.      Tank farming
To control the growth of gracilaria seaweed, tank farming can be used for the whole process. And this method promising more satisfying result due to the clean water control and if compared with other farming methods, it provides more productivity per unit area. And to maintain high level of productivity, gracilaria should be harvested periodically and the harvesting methods are varied depending on the size of the tanks being used. Some of the manufacturers using hand net to harvest the seaweed or the tank can be drained first into a net, although this method is less efficient due to a lot of time spend to refill the tanks with water.
4.      Bottom stocking
Bottom stocking cultivation process is conducted by move rocks bearing the thalli in order to increase the density on the farming area. And if the species of the seaweeds are already growing on a site, this method could be more successful. The disadvantages for having this cultivating method is that the cost of labor to plant and harvest are usually high and thus this can be economic for areas with low labor costs.
Seaweed gracilaria for agar-agar consists of three quality grades: standard agar, sugar reactive agar, and food grade agar. In decades, market demands for gracilaria have increased globally meaning that this kind of species really play an important role in marine industry product.

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