Introduction to the SeaWeed Extract: Carrageenan
There is some kind of weird stuff present in many foods mostly in the processed foods. For example, a product such as a cookie is prepared in Texas and is transported in truck throughout the country in summers, is in the warehouse for many days before it is sold and will reach the customer in the car. Still when the packet is opened the cookies are perfect. All this is because of the processing technology applied to keep the foodstuffs fresh.
However, some liquid and cheese can be more problematic as naturally, their predisposition is to separate out, foam, melting, precipitating, etc especially when they suffer from the bouncing on the road while transporting for long distance. This is the reason why the food processing unit uses chemicals such as gums. Two types of gums are mostly used, gelatin and corn starch. Whereas in the processed foods there are many different types of gums used such as carrageenan, cellulose gum, xanthan gum, local bean, agar, etc. The food scientists use these types of gums for many reasons, namely:
- They are used as a thickening agent in ice cream, pancake syrup, marshmallow fluff, etc.
- They are used as an emulsifying agent that helps the liquid to stay mixed with each other without separating.
- They are used to change the texture. A gum is used to make the food item thicker or chewier.
- They are also used to stabilize the crystals. A gum will help prevent sugar and ice from crystallizing.
Carrageenan is the seaweed extract, which is used in food products that need to be kept fresh and look good for many months even after transporting them across the country. The carrageenanis commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean near Continental Europe, Britain, and North America. The seaweed is boiled to get the extract the carrageenan.