Carrageenan is one of the most commonly ingredients which are used in just about every household item we have which has a thick, and gel-like consistency to it. There are several forms of carrageenan, and the type determines on the level it actually gels. Carrageenan side effects when it comes to its ingestion is something which has been debated, and is therefore, a rather heated topic, but time as proven once and again that Carrageenan is a substance which is safe to use on a regular, even on a daily basis, which is why carrageenan side effects are not an issue to be scared or worried about. The following are the specific properties of carrageenan one has to keep in mind:
Carrageenan is a popular additive due to its ability to gel well. Kappa and Iota Carrageenans can create thermo-reversible gels when cooled, thanks to its structure, which is that of a double helix. At high temperatures, carrageenan polymers are present in a solution as random coils. Also, further cooling alters the gelling properties to an extent. Calcium and Potassium salts are required whenever water gel is required, but for creamy texture of milk, no longer. Only both the Kappa and Lota types of carrageenan gel with the help of certain cations.
The stability of Carrageenan depends on the pH level of the substance in which it is dissolved. The stability also decreases with a lower pH, thus it is not good to mix low pH substances to carrageenan, as the sticky or viscous properties would be removed. High temperatures also aggravate the loss of product stability, and therefore should be avoided whenever possible.
There are several factors which determine the solubility of the carrageenan. This includes the type, whether Kappa, Lambda, or Iota, whether the solvent is hot or cold, and of course the polarity and the other types of the solvent itself. Among the products in which carrageenan is dissolved includes hot water, hot milk, sugar solution. By hot, water should be at least between 40 to 70 degrees celsius.
Certain types of carrageenan are also dissolved only on certain types and temperatures of solvents. Examples of this include Lambda carrageenan being soluble in low-temperature milk, while the other two types are not. In salt solution, Kappa carrageenan is insoluble, while both Lambda and Iota are soluble, at a 20 to 25% brine solution.
Other properties of Carrageenan include having a melting point of 40 to 70 degrees Celsius, having a pH which ranges from 7.0 to 10, or neutral to basic. It is, in its purest form, found in a yellow powder under normal temperatures.
All these properties have helped us all to have a deeper insight on what Carrageenan is and how it all works. The reason why we have to enrich our own knowledge about this particular substance is simply because we get to use it on a regular basis, and it’s beneficial for us to know what does in the substances we use.