Consumers are particularly mindful of what they purchase, whether it's in the realm of food, clothing, or even daily care for the body, face, and hair. Numerous ingredients are listed on labels, but it can be challenging to recognise them. Carrageenan is one such ingredient that is often found in packaging.
What is "Carrageenan"?
Carrageenan is a soluble fibre extracted from red seaweed. The red seaweed Chondrus crispus contains 55% carrageenan. It is a sulfated galactan that has the property of the former gel. There are three types of carrageenan: kappa, lambda, and iota. The kappa and iota carrageenans from the red seaweed Chondrus crispus.
Carrageenan is extracted in two ways. The first involves converting the seaweed into a solution, then the residues are filtered out, leaving only pure carrageenan. The second method involves mixing the seaweed with an alkaline solution to yield carrageenan and cellulose.
What is the usefulness of "Carrageenan"?
Extracted from red algae, carrageenan is used as athickening, gelling and stabilising agent. It is particularly used in the food industry, but also in the formulation of body care products. Used as a food additive, it is included in the composition of jams, jellies, dairy products and even meat-based products. It is also incorporated into certain body creams, lotions and hair care products.