The term carrageenan originated from a coastal town in Southern Ireland, called Carrageen. In that town, many years ago, housewives simply boiled the seaweeds - Irish moss - to make jellies and puddings.
Today, carrageenan, a natural hydrocolloid, is a powder extracted from various species of red algae that are farmed and processed.
Applications: Soft ambient gels. Milk based gels. Suspensions. Ice cream stabiliser.
Rate of hydration: Rapid
Comments: Clear gels with no bleeding of liquids. Gel is freeze/thaw stable. Gel is not heat stable. Forms gels most strongly with calcium salts, followed by potassium salts. (The reverse reactivities to Kappa Carrageenan).
Gel Strength: Soft, elastic gels
Colour: Cream powder
Ph Solubility: 4.5 - 10
Doseage Rates: 0.2% - 2.0%
High melting temperature
Gelatine jellies have long been favoured because they melt at body temperature, giving a smooth mouth feel and easy release of flavours. However, if they are stored for a day or two, they toughen and are less pleasant to eat. Gels made from Iota Carrageenan have a high melting temperature, so they do not melt on hot days and do not require refrigeration to make them set, so these are advantages in hot weather or kitchens, and a further advantage is that they do not toughen on storage.