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Carrageenan is a soluble fiber product derived from red seaweed and a natural food ingredient that has been used for hundreds of years in the West and probably hundreds of years earlier in Asia. Red seaweed is a naturally occurring, sustainable aquaculture that is grown and harvested in warm and cold waters by an estimated more than 30,000 family farms on five continents. Most of the seaweed used by global carrageenan producers is sourced from family farms in Southeast Asia (primarily Indonesia and the Philippines) and Tanzania in East Africa.

How carrageenan is processed

Carrageenan requires minimum processing. You could extract it from seaweed in your kitchen, much like the Irish did hundreds of years ago, by cooking the seaweed with a little salt, adding alcohol then mixing it in a household blender to pull out the carrageenan. The process is mild and preserves the functionality already in the seaweed. The effect of processing increases the amount of usable carrageenan in the seaweed, minimizing waste.

Review our infographic to learn more about how we make carrageenan available in large enough supply to be used in food ingredients for products we use every day.