Thursday 10 December 2015

Global agar shortage?

According to a recent report in Nature, both Thermo Fisher and Millipore Sigma have stopped selling pure standalone bacteriological agar in order to conserve supplies for their more popular product lines where it's in combination with growth nutrients. The companies will prioritise more-popular products that contain a mixture of agar and growth nutrients.

The reason is that poor growth of the seaweed Gelidium has led to harvesting restrictions being imposed in order to conserve stocks and what agar that is produced mostly goes to the food industry as a thickening agent so the media manufacturers have to compete for supplies.

One site, Industrias Roko in PolĂ­gono de Silvota, Spain, produces 40% of the seaweed used to make agar.

Nature Volume: 528, Pages: 171–172 Date published: (10 December 2015) DOI: doi:10.1038/528171a

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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