Is the agar for cultivating bacteria the same agar

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In summary, agar is a complex polysaccharide extracted from seaweed or kelp, used as an emulsifier in food preparation and culture media. It has no nutritional value for humans or bacteria, but is harmless. There are different kinds of agar used for different recipes, such as nutrient agar and blood agar. The agar used in laboratories and the agar sold in supermarkets have the same main ingredient.
  • #1
Evil
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juz wondering...is the agar for cultivating bacteria the same agar we buy from supermarkets n eat?
 
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  • #2
The agar use for bacterial culture is from some type of algae. I don't known about the food.
 
  • #3
Uhm - I don't eat anything called agar?
 
  • #4
Probably, the Japanese use it

quite a bit in food preparation, but you might want to check on things like salt or other additions.
 
  • #5
There are different kinds (recipes) of agar used for cultivating bacteria. I don't think you'll find "blood agar" (used for blood-borne bacteria, as you may suspect) on supermarket shelves! :wink:
 
  • #6
Phobos has correctly bracketed agar for you:

Natural agar is extracted from seaweed, or kelp.

It's a complex polysaccharide that is used mainly as an emulsifier for food preparations, including culture media.

It has no nutrient value for humankind (or, for that matter, bacteria that cannot digest such polysaccharides).

It is like pectin, even cellulose.

Bottom line? It's harmless.
 
  • #7
Originally posted by Phobos
There are different kinds (recipes) of agar used for cultivating bacteria. I don't think you'll find "blood agar" (used for blood-borne bacteria, as you may suspect) on supermarket shelves! :wink:

It is the same agar used in different media recipecies. The difference between nutirent agar and blood agar, is that one has blodd and the oder does not but both have agar (http://campmicro.com/blood_agar.htm ). As stated by 637h, agar the solidication agent for plates media.

So the agar that you buy from the super market and that use in lab have a common ingredient agar (http://www.ndif.org/Terms/agar.html ).
 
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1. What is agar and how is it used for cultivating bacteria?

Agar is a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed that is commonly used as a solidifying agent in microbiology. It provides a solid medium for bacteria to grow and can also be used to isolate and purify bacteria colonies.

2. Is the agar used for cultivating bacteria the same as the agar used in cooking?

No, the agar used in microbiology is specifically formulated for culturing bacteria and is not the same as the agar used in cooking. Cooking agar may contain additives or other ingredients that could interfere with bacterial growth.

3. Can any type of agar be used for cultivating bacteria?

No, different types of agar are used for different purposes in microbiology. For example, nutrient agar is used for general bacterial growth, while selective agar is used to isolate specific types of bacteria. It is important to use the appropriate agar for the desired purpose.

4. How is agar prepared for use in cultivating bacteria?

To prepare agar, it is first dissolved in boiling water and then sterilized to eliminate any potential contaminants. Once cooled, the agar is poured into petri dishes or test tubes and allowed to solidify before use.

5. Can agar be reused for multiple bacterial cultures?

No, agar cannot be reused for multiple cultures. After a culture has been grown on agar, it is contaminated and cannot be used again. Fresh agar must be prepared for each new culture.

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