Carrageenans are a family of versatile food ingredients variants that can be used to create unique textures, mouthfeel and stability in many of the foods you see on your grocery store shelves. This ingredient offers food manufacturers a natural, organic allowed, and sustainable option to achieve spectacular results in quality finished food products that will delight your customers.

Download Our Carrageenan Product Sheet.

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Fresh cup of Milk

Types of Carrageenan

Carrageenans are derived from certain types of seaweed via three processes:

  • Alcohol Precipitation
  • Gel Press, or KCI Precipitation
  • Natural- Grade or Semi-Refined

Chocolate Milk

Cageenan including kappa, iota, kappa-2, and lambda which all have unique functionalities.

  • Kappa and Iota
    • These two grades of carrageenan are considered thermally-reversible gels when combined with potassium and calcium salts, respectively. The introduction of certain proteins, including dairy milk and soy, can also impact the gel structure. Both of these carrageenans require heat activation for full functionality. Kappa carrageenans are synergistic with other types of gum, notably locust bean and tara, and are often combined with these ingredients to form stronger, more flexible gels.
  • Kappa-2
    • Typically used for milk gelling and thickening and also requires heat activation. Often used in beverages and dessert applications (i.e. caramel/chocolate sauces).
  • Lambda
    • Cold water soluble and generally non-gelling and interacts with calcium ions to give a creamy, fat-mimetic type mouthfeel in dairy and non-dairy applications.

Applications: What Is Carrageenan Used For?

Carrageenans are often vital in food and beverage systems in providing gelation, mouthfeel improvement, suspension, and emulsion stability. Both dairy and non-dairy in particular have been successful with the stabilizer because of carrageenan’s ability to act as a fat mimetic. Some of the most common foods featuring carrageenans include:

  • Ice Cream (Dairy and Non-Dairy)
  • Dairy beverages – chocolate and fruit flavored milks
  • Coffee Creamers
  • Evaporated milk and infant formula
  • Non-dairy milks/beverages, spreads, dips and processed cheeses
  • Gelled confections – Gummies
  • Fresh and Frozen Desserts – fruit fillings, pastry creams, frostings
  • Chocolate and Caramel Sauces
  • Puddings
  • Plant Based Meats
Cheese Cake

Meat and poultry

Carrageenans in Meat and Poultry

Carrageenan has historically been successful as a water binder, texturizer/gelling agent, and flavor carrier in meat and poultry products such as deli meats, rotisserie chicken, and smoked turkeys.


Is Carrageenan kosher?

Tilley Distribution offers kosher certification for Carrageenan products.

Is Carrageenan halal?

Tilley Distribution offers halal certification for Carrageenan products.

Is Carrageenan gluten-free?

In its pure form, this seaweed-based ingredient is considered gluten-free. We work with all of our clients to provide the proper certification.

Chocolate Puddin

Order Carrageenan from Tilley Distribution

Need assistance? With reliable ordering, warehousing locations across the country, and quality assurance you can trust, Tilley Distribution and ISI are the perfect partners to fulfill all your food ingredient needs. Work with the industry’s most reputable carrageenan wholesale supplier.

Contact an ISI technician today by phone or email.