Pronunciation: [kˈalsi͡əm ˈald͡ʒɪnˌe͡ɪt] (IPA)

Calcium alginate is a compound made up of calcium ions and alginate, a polysaccharide derived from seaweed. Its spelling is based on the phonetic transcription, /kælˈsiəm ˈælɡəˌneɪt/. The first syllable of calcium is pronounced with the short "a" sound, and the second syllable of alginate is pronounced with the "al" sound. The final syllable of alginate is pronounced with the "neɪt" sound, similar to "nate" with an "n" of "nikita". Calcium alginate is widely used in the food industry as a thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier.

CALCIUM ALGINATE Meaning and Definition

  1. Calcium alginate is a substance derived from the natural polysaccharides found in seaweed, specifically algae. It is a type of alginate that has been chemically modified to incorporate calcium ions into its structure. This modification is achieved by cross-linking the alginate molecules with calcium ions, resulting in the formation of a gel-like material.

    Calcium alginate is mainly used in various industrial and medical applications, due to its unique properties and biocompatibility. In the medical field, it is commonly employed as a wound dressing material. When applied to a wound, calcium alginate absorbs the wound exudate and forms a gel-like mass that provides a moist environment for wound healing. This gel also creates a barrier, reducing the risk of infection and promoting the growth of new tissue.

    In addition to wound dressings, calcium alginate can also be utilized in the pharmaceutical industry as a controlled release agent for drugs. It is capable of encapsulating drugs within its gel structure, allowing for sustained release over time. This enables better efficacy, prolonged drug activity, and minimized side effects.

    Furthermore, calcium alginate finds applications in the food industry, particularly in the production of foods and beverages. It is used as a thickening, stabilizing, and gelling agent due to its ability to form a gel-like structure under certain conditions. This property makes it ideal for creating products such as jellies, desserts, and dairy alternatives.

    Overall, calcium alginate is a versatile compound with a wide range of applications, making it a valuable ingredient in multiple industries.


The word "calcium alginate" is composed of two main components:

1. Calcium: The term "calcium" comes from the Latin word "calx", meaning "lime". It was named so because lime (calcium oxide) was one of the earliest compounds known to humans and played a significant role in construction and various applications.

2. Alginate: The term "alginate" originates from the word "algae", referring to a group of photosynthetic organisms that grow in water. Alginate is a polysaccharide extracted from the cell walls of various types of brown seaweeds (algae). The term was coined in the 19th century, combining "alga" with the suffix "-ate" to indicate that it is derived from algae.

Therefore, "calcium alginate" is a compound formed by combining calcium with alginate, a substance obtained from algae.