Found in: United Kingdom
Alginic acid is a polysaccharide distributed widely in the cell walls of brown algae which is hydrophilic and forms a viscous gum when hydrated. Its salts with metals such as sodium and calcium are known as alginates. It is a significant component of the biofilms produced by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a major pathogen found in the lungs of some people who have cystic fibrosis. The biofilm and P. aeruginosa have a high resistance to antibiotics and are susceptible to inhibition by macrophages. Its colour ranges from white to yellowish-brown. It is sold in filamentous, granular or powdered forms.