Alginate and its immense industrial applications
Alginate is a non-toxic, biodegradable, biocompatible, water-soluble and renewable biopolymer, usually extracted from brown algae or produced by microbial culture. This biomaterial has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human use in certain biomedical applications. In addition, there is a wide range of alginate types designed with different properties depending on the specific application. This review aims to show the immense applications offered by this biopolymer, which continue to grow exponentially due to its excellent chemical, physical and biological properties. Thus, current applications are presented in important areas such as the pharmaceutical industry, chemical and textile industry, gastronomic and freezing industry, biotechnological immobilization of cells and enzymes, controlled release of biomolecules, biomedical industry and finally we discuss its increasing use in 3D bioprinting applications.