Gelling agents are materials used to thicken and stabilize liquid solutions, emulsions, and suspensions. They dissolve in the liquid phase as a colloid mixture that forms an internal structure giving the resulting gel an appearance of a solid matter, while being mostly composed of a liquid. Gelling agents are very similar to thickeners. Gelling agents are food additives used to thicken and stabilize various foods, like jellies, desserts and candies. The agents provide the foods with texture through formation of a gel. Some stabilizers and thickening agents are gelling agents. See also gel. Typical gelling agents include natural gums, starches, pectins, agar-agar and gelatin. Often they are based on polysaccharides or proteins. Examples are: Alginic acid (E400), sodium alginate (E401), potassium alginate (E402), ammonium alginate (E403), calcium alginate (E404) - polysaccharides from brown algae Agar (E406, a polysaccharide obtained from red seaweeds) Carrageenan (E407, a polysaccharide obtained from red seaweeds) Locust bean gum (E410, a natural gum from the seeds of the Carob tree) Pectin (E440, a polysaccharide obtained from apple or citrus-fruit) Gelatin (E441, made by partial hydrolysis of animal collagen) Extracts of plants such as konjac and Ficus pumila are also commonly made into jellies and used in many East Asian cuisines.