Carrageenan is a natural material that is found in abundance. There are primarily used in thickening the toothpaste that we use every morning. The experts say that there are also several other thickeners. But with them, one gets the best results. They are used from the earlier times and are thus deemed to be safer than any other materials. It has a little taste and odor and is practically liked by the people.
Knowing more about carrageenan
Purified extracts from red seaweed, scientific name chondrus crispus, is generally the food grade carrageenan that we get to see. Not only in the toothpaste, they are used in a wide range of products like the less fat ice cream, frozen yogurt, etc.
Production of carrageenan
The carrageenan was used first by the chinese people around 600 b.c. it is said that the gelatin form can be produced very much at home by the use of the traditional recipe. Other than that there are industrial processing of three types.
Semi-refined- the raw weed is sorted by hand. These are then washed to remove the salt and sand particles. They are then cooked in hot alkali so that the gel strength increases. The weed is then washed, dried and milled.
Refined- in this process, the weeds are dissolved and then filtered so as to remove the cell wall debris. Then it is precipitated by using potassium chloride or isopropanol.
Mixed processing- this is a hybrid technology in which the seaweeds are treated heterogeneously much like the semi-refined process. High salt level or alcohols are used for the inhibition of dissolution.
Applications and types of carrageenan
they are mainly used in the dairy products and the meat products. They have a strong binding quality to the food proteins. There are three types of carrageenan found that differs on their degree of sulphation. They are kappa, lota and lamba. The kappa has one group of sulphate per disaccharide, lota has two and consequently, lamba has three.