Different types of Carrageenan
Carrageenan is a common type of food additive. It is mostly extracted from a red seaweed commonly known as the Irish moss. Carrageenan has no much nutrition value. It is, however, used to thicken and emulsify to improve the color, texture, thickness, and taste of many processed food. Unlike other food additives, carrageenan is natural. They are natural and belong to the family of carbohydrates. As any carbohydrates, carrageenan has a high composition of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. They also have saccharides components. Saccharides components are sugar compositions. This explains why they have a sugary taste. Carrageenan’s chemical composition leads to many varieties of carrageenan. According to Cargill carrageenan, there are some types, which are :
Kappa carrageenan is one of the forms of carrageenan. It is highly soluble in hot water. This chemical composition makes this carrageenan unique. It is insoluble in the most organic solvent. Kappa carrageenan is not soluble at all in organic solvents. Organic solvents are solvents that can dissolve organic compounds. The common organic compounds are a carbon-based element. Kappa carrageenan is insoluble to organic solvents and therefore cannot be used on food with high carbon composition. When potassium ions are added to kappa carrageenan, it increases the melting points and gelling. Potassium ion also induces the formation of a brittle gel which is usually very durable. The gel of kappa carrageenan is opaque. However, the opaque characteristic reduces in the presence of sugar.
Iota carrageenan is known for diluting solution exhibit thixotropic properties. Thixotropic are viscous, thick and gel fluids. Iota carrageenan is used to dilute such substances. One such liquid is diluted they take a little time and later return to its original state. Unlike kappa carrageenan iota is a clear gel. Iota in highly soluble in hot water. Iota also has sodium atoms. Those with the high concentration of sodium are soluble in both cold and warm water. Addition of calcium in iota carrageenan will lead to increasing of melting points. Thus when a manufacturer wants to increase the melting point of iota carrageenan, he will need calcium. It is insoluble in organic solvents. Most carrageenan are insoluble in organic solvent, thus manufactures use inorganic solvents when they want to dissolve carrageenan
Lambda carrageenan is the most type of carrageenan. They are unique in that they share the characteristics of both kappa and iota. First Lambda carrageenan is partially soluble in cold water. This means the solution can dissolve in small proportions in cold water. In hot water, Lambda carrageenan is fully solvent. It can thus be dissolved in large quantities. It is stable over a broad range of temperatures. This means it does not easily change its states promptly due to changes in temperature. Another unique quality of Lambda carrageenan is that is compatible with solvents that are miscible with water. This a rare quality in most carrageenan. They also have a wide of viscosity: from low to high viscosity.…Read More