juz wondering...is the agar for cultivating bacteria the same agar we buy from supermarkets n eat?
The agar use for bacterial culture is from some type of algae. I don't known about the food.
Uhm - I don't eat anything called agar?
Probably, the Japanese use it
quite a bit in food preparation, but you might want to check on things like salt or other additions.
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!
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.
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).
Separate names with a comma.