Agar was the first phycocolloid to be used in the human food industry. In the beginning it was only used in the Far East, but the applications have been extending all over the world for more than a century. The increasing range of applications is due to the particular gelling characteristics which are not present in any other phycololloid, gum or gelatin. As a result the price for food grade agar is higher than that of other phycocolloids with gelling properties which are also permitted as food additives. In addition, these characteristics allow agar to be used successfully and even exclusively in certain scientific and industrial applications.