Algin, which occurs in the cell walls of brown algae, is widely used in industry as an emulsifying agent and a stabilizer. It is used to create smooth body and texture in ice cream; to prevent the coarsening of ice cream in storage; in the preparation of jellies, icings, and whipping cream; in the manufacture of chocolate milk; as a creaming agent in the manufacture of rubber; as a dental impression material; in the sizing of cloth; in paints, cosmetics, hand lotions, lubricating jellies, printing ink, fire retardant compounds, insecticides, and varnishes; and to finish leather, among other uses!
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, kelp were used as sources of soda and potash. Because they have the capacity to concentrate iodine from the sea water, they were for a long period the prime sources of this element.
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