All seaweeds contain a large proportion (25-40%) of mucopolysaccharides, referred to as Phycopolymers and fibre.
The brown algal phycopolymers are algin and fucoidan, both sulfated galactans.
The main red algal polymers are agar and carrageenan, and mainly porphyran in nori. All of these polymers are sulfated galactans. They are modestly water-soluble, partially digestible and easily extracted from red seaweeds by boiling. Carrageenan was originally isolated by simply boiling red seaweeds for an hour or more , discarding the seaweed mass, and saving the usually thick mucilaginous liquid. It was used for soups, hot gruels when mixed with grains, seafood, and peas. It was drunk as a soothing treatment for sore mouths and throats and for constipation relief.
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