Carrageenan is extracted from many species of red seaweeds.( GRACILARIA , DRIED E COTTONII , IRISH MOSS ) The process begins with harvesting, followed by drying, cleaning, bagging or bailing. Once in the factory, the seaweeds are sorted, tested for quality and stored. Before being processed, they are hand-inspected, then washed to remove dirt and marine organisms, and then subjected to hot alkaline extraction. When the carrageenan is dissolved, it is clarified through conventional filtration and is then concentrated by membrane ultrafiltration. The carrageenan is precipitated by alcohol or potassium chloride to separate it from soluble impurities. This is followed by drying and grinding to appropriate particle size. The carrageenan powder is blended and standardized to customer specifications before shipment.
Carrageenan is a highly versatile ingredient suitable for use in food and nonfood products. As convenience food and household products proliferate, so do markets for carrageenan. Here is just a sampling of established applications and functionalities.
Processed Meat, Poultry and Seafood
Water binding, increased product yields, improved texture, fat replacement, meat/seafood analog binding.
Dairy Products (chocolate milk, frozen desserts, UHT milks, flans, puddings, low fat cheese, cheese analogs)
Provides cocoa suspension, milk stability, emulsion stability, milk gelling.
Cold Milk Powders (diet powder mixes, nutritional beverage mixes)
Provides body and mouthfeel, suspends solids.
Water Gel Desserts
Provides wide range of textures and flavor release, all without the need for refrigeration.
Provides structure without masking flavors, resistant to enzymatic breakdown.
Binds water, provides structure and prevents fat separation in canned, retorted products.
Controlled Release Products (air freshener gels)
Provides structure and controlled release of active ingredients such as perfume in a water-gel base