What is Carrageenan?

[caption id="attachment_10160" align="alignright" width="480"] Cultivated Chondrus crispus seaweed.[/caption] Carrageenan is a thickening agent and stabilizer. It is derived from seaweed. Would you believe it is frequently used in dairy products? One example is commercially formulated chocolate milk. Thickening the base imparts a feeling of creaminess to the milk. And yes, this seaweed derived thickener is a major ingredient in less expensive (read: cheap) brands of ice cream. Vegetarians Its origin makes carrageenan a natural for vegetarian products. One historically important variety comes from Chondrus crispus seaweed. It is very often called Irish Moss. It replaces animal based gelatin. Another well known form comes from the seaweed Gigartina stellata (which is called Carrageen Moss). Chemically Chemically, the thickener is not simply one substance. It is a whole family of substances, the…
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