There must be some of you who want to have more information on kappa carrageenan as this name sound unfamiliar in our ears. However, this substance is actually very familiar on many industries since there are many products which use this substance as one of the carrageenan. The reason is because the carrageenan itself has the ability to thicken, stabilize, and gelling other things that mix with them. Thus many industries use those abilities to ensure the product that they create has great appearance as it should be. The products that are created using this substance are varied from food product to personal care product.
Learn more about kappa carrageenan production method
The kappa carrageenan is actually a type of carrageenan which created from Kappaphycus alvarezii that is a species of red seaweed used to create this substance. This type of carrageenan can create rigid and stronger gelling when there is potassium ion. That is why diary protein can react well with this type of carrageenan. Furthermore this type of carrageenan also only has a sulphate group for every disaccharide. This substance is also only soluble using water in hot temperature.
The usage of this type of carrageenan is usually as food additive inside food product or thickening agent on personal care product, and many others. Since the type of carrageenan is created from kappa species of red seaweed which is a species of plant grows under the sea water thus it is considered as vegan and vegetarian. That is the reason this substance is often used to replace gelatin which derived from animal when creating confectionery for vegan and vegetarian consumption.
The kappa carrageenan itself can grow until 2 meters in height, then the colors that this red seaweed has usually green or even yellow. Furthermore this species has fast growing ability, and usually the plant already grows twice as much only within 15 days. This is why, this kappa species of red seaweed can easily be farm since it is fast growing thus it can be harvest when the weight of the plant already reach 1 kg. Then it will take only three other months until next harvesting time.
The farming process itself is very is quite easy since the farmer will use nylon material to create the growing line. Then the line will be hung on the stick which float on the surface and created using bamboo as the material. Usually the line will have around 2 meters depth to match with the plant height. When the plant already has suitable weight, then it can be harvest easily with this setting.
After the kappa carrageenan product is harvest by the farmer, and then it will be dried under the sun to remove the water content inside. Thus it is ready to be send into the factory which will process and make the substance.
Upon arrival the dried kappa species of red seaweed will be grind for easier process. Next is to sift the material to remove any sand that mixed inside. Then it is time to wash it so no other impurities that might mix inside.
To make the kappa carrageenan then the washed material will be soaked and heat inside 5 to 8% amount of alkali liquid. Usually the liquid used to make it is the Potassium hydroxide which able to increase the gelling properties that the substance has since the chemical reaction already been changed using this process. Furthermore the process itself can remove some of the sulphate inside the molecules of the material. The best thing is, this process can create more 3,6 anhydrogalactose formed inside the molecules. This formation is able to strengthen the gelling properties.
From this heating process, there will be carrageenan created along with several celluloses content which actually unwanted. To remove that unwanted content, then centrifugation as well as filtration procedure is done. After that mechanical procedure, then evaporation is the next process done to get only the carrageenan substance. Then the substance will be dried then it will be ground to make it into carrageenan powder form which you will see in the market.
Those are the entire process needed to create the kappa carrageenan product that you see in the market and used in many kinds of product. Now you already know all information about this substance and the making process.