Kappa Carrageenan Applications in Food

κ-Carrageenan Applications in Food



At present, there are mainly κ-type, I-type and λ-type carrageenan commercially in production and applications, among which k-type carrageenan is the most common one.

k-carrageenan applications or uses in food are very wide, commonly used in pasta products, dairy products, meat products, beverages beers, artificial meat and pet food, etc.

For example, in meat, sauce, milk and other products, k-carrageenan can play the role of water locking, thickening and stabilizing. It can also interact with proteins to form complexes and form thixotropic shake-soluble structures to prevent inter-particle aggregation and the formation of precipitation.

κ-Carrageenan Applications in Food (2)

1. About Carrageenan

Carrageenan is a polysaccharide seaweed-based hydrocolloid extracted from red seaweeds such as Eucheuma (kappaphycus), Chondrus, Gigartina and Hypnea species.

Due to the different sulfate binding forms in it, the following seven main types of carrageenan are produced:

κ-, I-, λ-, γ-, ν-, ξ-, and μ-types.

Currently, κ-, I-, and λ-type carrageenans and their mixtures are commonly produced and used commercially, while kappa-carrageenan is the most common type.

The kappa carrageenan is widely used in the food industry, usually as a filling agent, carrier, emulsifier, gelling agent, glazing agent, wetting agent, suspension stabilizer, thickening agent, and other food auxiliaries (additives) in food processing.

The kappa carrageenan applications are mostly in dairy products, meat products, beverages, beers, artificial meat, and pet foods.

2. Kappa Carrageenan Applications in Food

2. 1 Kappa Carrageenan in Frozen Dough Steamed Pasta Products

κ-Carrageenan Applications in Food (3)

Frozen dough steamed pasta products are made of wheat flour as the base material and yeast and water as auxiliary materials.

The production process is as follows.

Dough preparation - Fermentation - Shaping into frozen dough blanks - Flash freezing - Low-temperature storage - Thawing - Steaming

In the process of making such ready-to-eat pasta products, kappa carrageenan is used as a food additive to improve some of the undesirable conditions of the products.

The most suitable dosage of kappa-carrageenan in pasta products uses is 0.03%~0.05%.

Benefits of Kappa Carrageenan in Pasta Products
  • Kappa carrageenan can interact with gluten proteins to increase the thickness of the gluten network and the air-holding power during fermentation.
  • It prevents ice crystals during the freezing process, thus preventing the gluten network from causing damage to ice crystals and resulting in quality problems (collapse of frozen dough during thawing, cracks, etc.).
  • Kappa carrageenan not only has the effect of increasing tenderness, but also improves the texture of frozen dough, making it smooth and al dente.
  • Kappa carrageenan can be used as a cryoprotectant can prevent protein denaturation.
  • Kappa carrageenan slows down the deterioration of frozen dough quality.
  • It can extend the shelf life of frozen dough.

2. 2 Kappa Carrageenan Applications in Cookie Sandwich Jams

κ-Carrageenan Applications in Food (4)

Preparation of cookie sandwich jams:

  • a) Mix potassium citrate, kappa carrageenan, hydroxypropyl diamyl phosphate and granulated sugar.
  • b) Add water, fructose syrup, sorbitol liquid, and stir until the powder is dissolved.
  • c) Heat until a paste is made.
  • d) Cooling to room temperature.

Kappa carrageenan is generally used at 1% to 2%.

The process characteristics and application requirements of cookie sandwich jam are rather special.

The jam needs to have strong solidification at room temperature, but in the jam injection process, it needs to have a certain degree of fluidity.

What is thermal reversibility? 

The thermal reversibility of kappa carrageenan can perfectly meet this requirement!

Thermal reversibility, i.e. "sol-gel", means that the jam will soften when it is heated to a certain temperature after being formed, which makes it easier to fill the jam.

After cooling, it will solidify again, thus maintaining a good texture and taste, and also playing a role in extending the shelf life.

2. 3 Kappa Carrageenan Applications in Artificial Meat and Protein Fibers

κ-Carrageenan Applications in Food (5)

Kappa carrageenan is also used in artificial meat and protein fibers.

By adding kappa-carrageenan and sodium alginate during the production process, the protein does not need to go through the aging process, and even low concentration or unpurified protein solutions can be used for spinning.

At the same time, kappa carrageenan improves the strength and water absorption of the spun yarn.

For the further production of artificial meat from artificial protein fibers, kappa carrageenan can also be used as a binder.

2. 4 Kappa Carrageenan in other Food Applications

2. 4.1 Kappa Carrageenan in Meat Products, Jams, Dairy Products and Other Products

κ-Carrageenan Applications in Food (6)

It can play a role in water retention, thickening and stabilization.

It interacts with proteins to form complexes, thus forming thixotropic shake-soluble structures that can prevent inter-particle aggregation and formation of precipitation.

2. 4.2 Kappa Carrageenan in Beverages, Breweries, Gummy Candies, Jellies and Other Foods

κ-Carrageenan Applications in Food (7)

Kappa carrageenan also has many practical values in the processing of these casual foods.

For example, it is used as a clarifying agent in beer and wine to effectively shorten the clarification time, and as a suspending agent and stabilizer in fruit drinks to slow down the settling rate of fruit particles.

2. 4.3 Kappa Carrageenan in Fruits and Vegetables

κ-Carrageenan Applications in Food (8)

Recently, some studies have shown that kappa carrageenan also has good application prospects in fresh-cut fruits and vegetable preservation.

Kappa carrageenan film has strong tensile strength and transmittance, low water vapor transmission rate, can reduce cellular respiration, inhibit the activity of polyphenol oxidase, and effectively reduce the degree of browning.

2. 4.4 Kappa Carrageenan in Pharmaceutical Industry

κ-Carrageenan Applications in Food (1)

In addition, kappa carrageenan has been used as a sphere-forming enhancer in the preparation of Valsartan micro-release pills by an extrusion-rolling method.

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About Gino Biotech

We are a biotech company specializing in the research, development, and commercialization of innovative and technological food additives hydrocolloids Agar Agar, Carrageenan, and Tailor-Made Stabilizer Solutions.

With the extended know-how and experience in the research, application, and use of Hydrocolloids, we could provide one-stop-shop customized solutions perfectly matched to the needs of our customers.

Our products cover the needs of the Meat, Dairy, Bakery, Confectionery, and other industrial sectors.

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