Carrageenan – a textural ingredient with extremely effective gelling properties – is produced from red seaweed, which can be found along coastlines all over the world.

It is named after the Irish town of Carragheen, which was once famous for a dessert produced by boiling milk and seaweed. 

GRINDSTED® Carrageenan is the trade name of Danisco's carrageenans.

  ADI (mg/kg body weight) EU-number US FDA reference
Carrageenan Not specified E407 172.620 (GRAS)
Processed Euchema Seaweed Not specified E407a 172.620 (GRAS)
Grindsted®Carrageenan is manufactured at Danisco’s production facilities in Chile and Scotland.


Carrageenan consists of sulphate esters of galactose and 3,6-anhydrogalactose. Red seaweed produces three different types of carrageenan – known as kappa, iota and lambda carrageenan. Most commercial carrageenan products consist of a mixture of all three types. Carrageenan must be heated to dissolve. Kappa carrageenan forms a gel on cooling in the presence of potassium ions or proteins, whereas iota carrageenan requires the presence of calcium ions to form a gel. Lambda carrageenan is incapable of forming gels, but can be used to control viscosity.

Application areas

Due to its ability to interact with milk proteins, carrageenan is widely used in milk-based applications: 
  • In ice cream to prevent whey separation 
  • In milk gels to obtain the desired consistency 
  • In chocolate milk to avoid the precipitation of cocoa particles 
  • In low-sugar jams and jellies for gelling purposes

In meat products, carrageenan’s gelling properties bind moisture, reducing cooking loss and syneresis and improving slicing properties, while pâtés, sausages and similar emulsified products benefit from improved firmness and texture.