Carrageenan is a common food additive that is extracted from a red seaweed, Chondrus crispus, which is popularly known as Irish moss. Carrageenan, which has no nutritional value, has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk and other processed foods.
Meat is a complex system of muscle tissue, connective tissue, fat, and water; during processing, numerous interactions occur among all these components. These interactions are responsible for the functional properties of the meat system. In meat products, carrageenans contribute to gel formation and water retention. Their addition is of special interest in low-fat meat products because fat reduction often leads to unacceptable, tough textures. When carrageenans are incorporated in these formulations, they improve the textural characteristics of the product by decreasing toughness and increasing juiciness.
Use for: Ham, Sausages, Corned Beef, Luncheon Meat
Agar in the form of a sweetened and flavored gel has been known in the Orient for ages. It is known in Japan as “Kanten” meaning “cold weather,” in China it is “Dongfen” or “frozen powder.” The word “agar” is Malayan and is used in the double form agar-agar, originally referred to jellies of certain seaweeds especially Eucheuma muricatum of the East Indies. It was said that Chinese migrants to the East Indies imported the Japanese kanten for their own use. They also called it agar-agar.
Use for: Dessert Jellies, Fruit Jellies, Water Jellies, Puddings
The application of carrageenans in the beer industry helps to improve the beer quality, and thus increase brand awareness. The path towards the development of beer industry can only be found in meticulous attention to quality.
The use of carrageenan makes impurities like protein precipitate compactly, the filtering loss of beer production can reduce by 0.2-0.3% and this alone can offset the cost of carrageenan. With the use of carrageenan, wort and fermentation broth can well clarify and this will be beneficial to filtering and fermentation. By doing this, the cost will not be raised, so the use of carrageenan is suggested in beer production to improve the quality.
Use for: Beer
The effect of κ-carrageenan and ι-carrageenan addition on viscoelastic properties of model processed cheeses with 45% and 50% w/w fat in dry matter after 14 days of storage at the temperature of 6±2 °C has been investigated. The role of concentration (0.05%, 0.15% and 0.25% w/w) as well as the type of carrageenan used (κ-carrageenan and ι-carrageenan) has been analysed. With the rising concentration of carrageenans both the storage G′ and the loss G″ moduli increased as a consequence of stronger gel formation. ι-Carrageenan with concentrations of 0.15% and 0.25% w/w has been evaluated as more effective for increasing the rigidity of model processed cheeses in comparison with κ-carrageenan (with the same concentrations). Also, the effect of carrageenans on model processed cheeses with different fat in dry matter content has been discussed.
Use for: Cheese, Cream Cheese, Processed Cheese, Imitation Processed Cheese
The main applications for carrageenan are in the food industry, especially in dairy products. Frequently, only very small additions are necessary, 0.01-0.05 percent. For example, kappa carrageenan (at 0.01-0.04 percent) added to cottage cheese will prevent separation of whey, and a similar amount added to ice cream also prevents whey separation that may be caused by other gums that were added to the ice cream to control texture and ice crystal growth. The cocoa in chocolate milk can be kept in suspension by addition of similar amounts of kappa; it builds a weak thixotropic gel that is stable as long as it is not shaken strongly. Dry instant chocolate mixes, to be mixed with water or milk, can have improved stability and mouth feel using lambda or a mixture of carrageenans.
Use for: Milk, Processed Milk, Flavoured Milk, Cream Milk
The essential ingredients in toothpaste are chalk or a similar mild abrasive, detergent, flavour, water and a thickening agent that will provide enough body to the paste to ensure that the abrasive is kept in suspension and that there is no separation of water. A thixotropic thickener is preferable, i.e. that has gel-like properties when allowed to stand but that will flow when pressure is applied to it. Iota carrageenan, at about 1 percent, is one of the most useful thickening agents, it meets the above criteria and gives a paste that is easily rinsed from the toothbrush. When the size of the toothpaste market is considered, even at 1 percent concentration this represents a large market for iota.
Use for: Toothpaste