Carrageenan

Other Names

Algas, Algue Rouge Marine, Carrageen, Carrageenin, Carragenano, Carragenina, Carragheenan, Carraghénane, Carraghénine, Chondrus Crispus, Chondrus Extract, Euchema Species, Extrait De Mousse d’Irlande, Galgarine, Gigartina Chamissoi, Gigartina Mamillosa, Gigartina Skottsbergii, Irish Moss Algae, Irish Moss Extract, Mousse d’Irlande, Red Marine Algae, Gulaman, Алге , Каррагинан, Carrageen, Carragaheen, Karrageen, Karragheen

Description

Carragean is a small algae that grows from a discoid and branches out like a fan. The branches are firm and vary in color from dark reddish brown to yellowish in the sun. Also called Carragean moss, it is abundant in the Atlantic coast. When soft and in water, it has sea-like odor because of the polysaccharide, it turns into a jelly when boiled.

Ingredients

Energy, carbohydrates, sugar, dietary fiber, protein, fat, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, E, K, folate, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc, iodine and sulfur

Collection period

September to November

Used Parts

Seaweed

Uses

  • Blocks HIV Infection

  • Personal lubricant

  • Prevents Herpes virus

  • Relieves sore throat

  • Remedy for chest congestion

  • Treats Common cold

Application

There are many uses of Carrageenan in manufacturing and food. In Scotland and Ireland, it is boiled in milk and strained before adding some flavours. This produces jelly that is similar to tapioca or pannacotta. In Jamaica, it is boiled together with cinnamon and milk to create a frothy drink called Irish Moss and is said to be an aphrodisiac. Irish Moss is used as a clarifying ingredient in brewing beer. In Venezuela, Irish Moss is a home remedy for chest congestion and sore throat. Carrageenan is boiled together with milk and served with honey before the patient goes to bed.

Summary

Carrageenan is a jelly base extracted by boiling from seaweed. Boiling Carrageenan together with milk will create a frothy drink called Irish Moss which is also a clarifying agent for beer. It is a common food additive.

Side Effects

Some studies suggest that Carrageenan could trigger inflammation of the intestines since it is used to cause inflammation among mice. It is best to consume Carrageenan in food amounts only.

References

  • Wikipedia, Chondrus crispus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chondrus_crispus-

  • RXList, Carrageenan: http://www.rxlist.com/carrageenan-page2/supplements.htm

Carrageenan

Chondrus crispus

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