J. Phys. IV France
Volume 125, June 2005
Page(s) 821 - 824

J. Phys. IV France 125 (2005) 821-824

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2005125189

Photothermal characterization of the gelation process in Gelidium robustum Agar

Y. Freile-Pelegrín1, J. Bante2, J.J. Alvarado-Gil2 and J.M. Yánez-Limón3

1  Marine Resources Department, Cinvestav-Unidad Mérida, Mexico
2  Applied Physics Department, Cinvestav-Unidad Mérida, C. Antigua a Progreso Km. 6, Mérida Yucatán, Mexico 97310, Mexico
3  Cinvestav-Querétaro, Qro., Mexico

Agar is a hydrophilic colloid formed by polysaccharides, whose ability to form reversible gels simply by cooling hot aqueous solutions is the most important property and can be regarded as the prototype and model for all gelling systems. In this paper the evolution of the gelation process of agar obtained from algae of the species Gelidium robustum, using the photopyroelectric technique is reported. It is shown that thermal effusivity increase when the agar is cooled, reaching a maximum value around 37°C. The increase in thermal effusivity can be related to the increasing of the bondings in the gel as temperature decreases, reaching the maximum at the gelation point. The decrease of the thermal effusivity at lower temperature could be due to the syneresis process involving a gradual release of water after gelation.

© EDP Sciences 2005