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What is E407 Carrageenan Made from and Other Information

Thursday 28 September 2017

What is E407 Carrageenan Made from and Other Information

You might want to know what is E407 carrageenan; as this item often used in many kinds of food that you eat every day. Since it is a common item, thus many food manufacturers are using it inside their food ingredient list. The reason is because using this item will really help them in creating the food product that they manufacture easier. However, as the consumers, you might not know the usage of this product inside the food that you consume. And when you really pay attention on the healthy aspect of the food that you consume, then you must want to know more about this substance.

What is E407 Carrageenan?
When you have question about what is E407 carrageenan, then you should know that this item is often used as food additive by food manufacturer. This carrageenan item itself is actually one kind of polysaccharides that often used in food. And as you already know this item already have E number which means it is permitted when used inside food item as additive by authorities in European Union.
So when answering your question about what is E407 carrageenan, then we must first discuss about the E number itself. Based on the numbering system, the E in this system is short term for Europe where this numbering system is used. Then since it is still in the 400 number ranges this means that the item in this number range is used for thickener, emulsifier, and stabilizer which consist of many kinds of compounds.
When you ask about what is E407 carrageenan then you should take it closer, since this carrageenan is in the 400 until 409 number sub ranges. This means that the item in this number range is considered as alginates, which is made from algae. This description is correct since the carrageenan itself is actually extracted from red seaweed which is a type of algae.
Now if you see it even closer, there is also a type of carrageenan with E407a code. Seeing from the numbering system composition, this carrageenan is still the same with the previous code. But the a code addition is used when the carrageenan is presented as a processed type from eucheuma subfamily of seaweed where there are still some cellulose left on the end items.
This eucheuma subfamily of seaweed is often found in Indonesia and Philippines. Furthermore the Philippines often farm a specific species on this seaweed subfamily which is the eucheuma cottonii species that is known locally as guso. Yes you are right; this seaweed is farm by the manufacturer since they need to have enough of this seaweed which will be used on the factory to be the raw material for their carrageenan product. And their product is the one that trigger your question about what is E407 carrageenan.
To farm the seaweed, then some kind of string made from nylon will be used to guide the seaweed growth. This nylon will be tie on a bamboo stick which floats on the surface of the sea. The seaweed will grow in around 2 meter in depth for around three months then it will have around 1 kg of weight so it is ready to be harvest.
After the harvest, then it will be dried so it is ready to be brought into the factory place. In the factory there are three first processes that are done to clean this seaweed which are grinding, sifting and washing process so there is no impurities left on the seaweed as it will be used to be raw material in carrageenan creation.
Then the second process is done to extract the carrageenan from inside the seaweed by doing soaking process using alkali solution and heating this solution so the carrageenan will comes out even though it will be accompanied with cellulose. That is why the third process is done to remove the cellulose from inside the product which is by using mechanical procedure. Then the last process is to make the end product which is by evaporation the leftover liquid then grinding the result to be finer carrageenan powder.
We hope that those explanations really answer your question about what is E407 carrageenan so now you will be more informed and knows about this food additive.


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