The Secret of Functional Ingredients – Agar

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WTF Functional Properties – Agar: How well do you know your agar?

Do you really know your agar? Agar is a hugely popular gelling agent, but depending on where you got it, that are dramatic differences in performance, which causes a lot of confusion and frustration when you try out recipes you found online. Scott and Janie break down the most important functional features of agar with some side by side comparisons… on this week’s WTF

We Transform Food is a weekly series from Modernist Pantry exploring cool ingredients and gadgets that can help any chef transform food into more memorable experiences.


  • Bridget Curry
    March 2, 2022 11:23 am

    What is the country of origin for Modernist Pantry super agar?

  • What’s the best functional ingredient for gummy bears that have the right texture (like a purchased gummy).

    • Scott Guerin
      March 2, 2022 4:48 pm

      The best ingredient for this would be vegan gelatin. It’s a good one to one replacement for traditional gelatin. It may take a little bit of time to get the hang of the Chew on the gummy’s is great!

  • When using agar is there a difference between the agar flakes vs powder? Is one easier to use?

  • Whitney Thooft
    March 2, 2022 8:46 pm

    Is Agar a natural Ingredient? and how and why is it used instead of gelatin or pectin?

    • Scott Guerin
      March 7, 2022 4:21 pm

      Yes agar is a natural ingredient it is derived from algae. Agar is commonly used in the place of gelatin in Pectin as a gelling agent. As to why it is used in place of those it could be for dietary reasons or personal preference. Let us know if you have any further questions.

  • Roderick Sprague
    March 3, 2022 2:25 am

    I use agar in microbe and plant culture. The conventional wisdom is pure agar is the best gel because it has a tight structure that prevents bacteria from migrating through it and is less prone to biodegrading than gelatin when microbes are grown on it. Any ideas of substances that improve on its properties for those uses or that can extend it without loss of strength and reduce the cost?

  • Is your Super Agar suitable for agar clarification? Does grade matter in this context?

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