Advances in Food Biochemistry Put Cassia Gum in the Front Line

The cassia gum is purified flour from the seed endosperm of cassia tora and the cassia obtusifolia, which are plants of the leguminosae family. 75% of the powder chemically contains high molecular weight polysaccharides with mannopyrannose units linked with galactopyrannose units. These make it exhibit excellent properties of a hydrocolloid.

Application of Cassia gum

The manufacturing process is a series of steps involving the cleaning of the source material, removal of impurities, milling and further refining with isopropanol to have a final purified product.

Characterization of the Cassia Gum
The final refined cassia gum is significantly different from the other galactomanans in that it has fewer galactose molecules next to the long mannose chain. This creates a significant effect on the synergy of the food grade cassia gum with other anionic food gums such as carrageenan or Xanthan gums.

Scientific research has shown that a high number of galactose side chains hinder proper synergistic gelling effects with anionic polymers. To counter this effect, a smaller amount of hydrocolloid blend with cassia gum is required for a similar effect to be achieved in the food product as with carrageenan alone or blends of carrageenan and other hydrocolloids.

Reaction of the Cassia Gum in Foods

In regards to the chemical structure of the gum, it is stable during food processing and storage. The product only degrades into sugars, but this happens rarely. Scientific research on degradation of the cassia gum in food products shows that it is stable without chemical modifications for over 20 months. When the gum is used at the recommended levels in food, it has been seen to have no interaction with nutrients. There is no other seen by products of the degradation process of the gum apart from sugar formation.

Usage Levels of Cassia Gum in Foods

In cheeses, such as curd, whey, cream, processed spread, dip and other miscellaneous cheeses, it is used at a maximum level of 3 mg/kg as an emulsifier, stabilizer, thickening agent and water retention agent in these formulations.

In the frozen dairy desserts and mixes, the gum powder is used at a level of 2.5 mg/kg as an emulsifier and stabilizer to control over run. These products include ice creams, ice milks and sherbets.

In the meat products and meat formulations and dishes, it is used at a level of 3.5 mg/kg as a stabilizer, emulsifier and water retaining agent. These include multi coarse meat meals, sandwich ingredients and commercially processed meat ingredients.

In poultry products it is also used at a level of 3.5mg/kg as a stabilizer and water retaining agent. These include all poultry containing dishes frozen products and sandwiches.

Bottom Line

Continued research on the cassia gum powder uses and applications has led to the conclusion that the gum can be equally used as replacement to other hydrocolloids and in some cases it is more effective. Research has also proven that the gum is effective when combined with other hydrocolloids such as the carrageenan and the xanthan gum. In addition to human food additives, it can also be used in the manufacturing of pet foods.

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The Five Different Forms of Carrageenan and its Significance in Industrial Applications

The Polysaccharide Family polysaccharide-family

Carrageenan is obtained from red seaweeds which were widely used in Europe and Far East as an important food ingredient. These are also called edible seaweeds which are also preferred for its viscous property and presence of naturally occurring polysaccharides and carrageenan is one among the different types of polysaccharides.

Different Types of Carrageenan Understood from Chemical Structure

different-forms-of-carrageenans-identified-in-chemical structure

Carrageenans are of different forms and they can be identified in terms of the chemical structure they have. The chemical structure on the other hand is exhibited in the form of its properties or behavior such as thickener or reversible gelling agent, etc. The carrageenans differ in texture as well ranging from soft form to elastic or brittle in texture. When it comes to applications these polysaccharides produces different reactions synergistically with popular plant seed gums like locust bean gum, etc. Similarly, it is differentiated into different forms for commercial applications. The extraction method also differs while obtaining in various types.

Types of Carrageenan applied for Commercial Purpose


Iota and Pharmaceutical Industry-It is a kind of carrageenan that readily forms into strong gel when combined with calcium salts. This gel form is soluble in water and stays elastic in texture. It contains 28 to 30% of ester sulfate content and basically available from sea weed variety called E.spinosum. It is applied in pharmaceutical industry as an alternative to neuraminidase inhibitor in the preparation of nasal spray for influenza or early symptoms of cold.


Kappa  in Dairy Products-It is the most common form of carrageenan that is also preferred as food grade. It produces strong gel when combined with potassium salts and forms into brittle gel when mixed with locust bean. This contains 25 to 30% of ester sulfate content. It is widely used as a stabilizing agent in dairy products. When it comes to interaction kappa carrageenan form of carrageenan can interact with locust bean and the reactive product is applied for stabilizing milk products.


Lambda For Creamy Sensation-Lambda differs widely from that of the above two popular forms and it is applied for obtain high viscous property in product and it is soluble in cold water where as the above two forms are soluble in hot water. It is applied to obtain creamy feel in dairy products.


Furcellaran-It is classified into extreme kappa type however, has limited polysaccharides and can be identified only with the help of analyzing the chemical structure with that of others. However, not many industries prefer this form.

Refined and Semi-Refined Carrageenans – Apart from the above commercial grades, carrageenans are also classified into refined and semi-refined forms. The refined ones are obtained from complete filtration process. It obtains gelatinous nature and the filter technology is employed to extract the exact portion of carrageenan. In case of semi-refined form, Eucheuma Cottonii is the type of sea weed from which semi-refined form is obtained. However, it is preferred for large scale production of pet food formulas.


Carrageenan is obtained from processed sea weeds and it is available in different forms with different significance in industrial applications. They differ in chemical structure and properties.

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Altrafine – First Producer of Food Grade Kappa Carrageenan Gum Powder in India from Edible Sea Weed

Derivation of Kappa Carrageenan from Seaweeds

Kappa carrageenan is extracted through a long process. The seaweeds are processed in aqueous dilute alkali and sent through several processing methods to obtain the final form of food grade kappa carrageenan. The three main types of carageenan obtained from seaweed and which are applicable in food industry are Iota, kappa and lambda. These are differentiated in terms of the amount of sulfation and the changes in composition. However, carrageenan composition differs from different red seaweed species. The seaweed flour is not recommended for direct consumption however, it is found to be cheaper than refined carrageenan.

Important Properties that allows for Application in Food Industry

Kappa Carrageenan has good gelling property and it is for the same reason that this ingredient is mainly used in food industry and pet food preparation. However, carrageenan works effectively when blended with other ingredients like locust bead or galactomannan of guar seeds which then provides excellent gelling property.

Popularity of Kappa Carrageenan in Pet Food Application

Popularity of Kappa Carrageenan in Pet Food Application

  • When it comes to evaluation of market value for refined seaweed powder, there is equal demand for both refined and semi-refined kappa extract to be applied in pet food and food preparations globally.
  • In the beginning it was applied at large in the preparation of dairy products and remained a suitable alternative for soy milk.
  • This ingredient provides good yield when combined with other emulsifying salts as it provides stability to the food structure and helps to maintain taste and reliability.
  • Semi refined seaweed is applied 1% in the preparation of animal meat products along with other ingredients to obtain safe, qualitative and productive result than soy milk.

Pet Food Type and Application of Seaweed Extract

Kappa carrageenan has the ability to maintain the texture of the meat and provide good structural reliability to the food product especially canned pet foods. It is widely applied in canned pet foods especially meat variety for it can maintain the food structure and provide good shelf life.

Why Semi-Refined Kappa is preferred in Food Industries

Why Semi-Refined Kappa is preferred in Food Industries?

Extraction of kappa from seaweeds is an expensive process and the price of refined kappa carrageenan is higher when compared to the low cost semi-refined grade. This is one of the main reasons that pet food industries prefer to shift towards low cost or semi-refined kappa extract than the purified one.

Altrafine in the production of Food Grade Kappa Carrageenan

Altrafine is a leading processor and supplier of guar extracts and other processed ingredients. We also supply food grade kappa carrageenan gum powder used in pet food and other food preparations. We are the first manufacturer and supplier of kappa carrageenan extracted from red seaweeds like girgartineaceae, hypaneaceae, etc. The southern and western coastal areas of India stay the main areas where seaweeds are obtained and sent for processing. Altrafine supplied semi-refined and refined forms of carrageenan that are then supplied to several countries especially for pet food preparation and meat processing.


Seaweeds are obtained from ocean and they are processed through several methods to become a suitable ingredient to be applied in the preparation of pet food and processed meat. It works effectively with other ingredients and provides good stabilizing effect for the food especially canned meat prepared for pet animals.

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Find Out What are the Catchy Significance of Kappa Carrageenan Gum Granule in Processing Meat Products and Poultry

What is Kappa Carrageenan?

Carrageenan is a naturally available red colour seaweed species and the weeds are processed by several methods to extract a gelling agent called kappa carrageenan. It is widely applied as a better alternative to conventional gelling ingredients like gelatin.

Properties of Kappa Carrageenan

It can form into a gel like substance and holds the capacity to produce breakable texture. It has the property to balance the water molecules in food items in which it is applied. It also contains the compatibility suitable for hot and cold preparations.

Processing Meat Products with Carrageenan

Kappa Carrageenan gum powder is preferred by popular chefs for its blending quality in food products like processed meat, sea foods, etc. Adding this ingredient gives a fragile texture to the meat and stays an effective option to manage higher productivity.

Manufacturing Benefits in Meat Processing Industry with Kappa Gum Powder

Kappa gum powder is a useful component in preparing meat products. It has the capacity to enhance the texture, flavor; flexibility of the processed meat.  Hence, productivity can be increased by obtaining the consistency, juiciness, and flavor of the product pertaining to the benefits of consumers as well.


Dietary Benefits of Kappa Gum Powder while preparing meat products

Kappa gum powder contains gelling agent that makes it work on dietary aspects also. For example, adding kappa granule extract reduces the fat content as it can increase the moisture content in the meat to make it easily cooked with less oil.

Pet Food Application in Carrageenan Gum

The water holding capacity of carrageenan gum works out effectively when mixed with emulsifying ingredients as more productivity can be obtained while processing meat products and this formula is also applied in the preparation of pet food products.


Kappa Carrageenan extract in Dairy Industry

Kappa gum powder can form into creamy substance when mixed with dairy products. It reacts with milk proteins and turns out into delicate gel and fits perfectly in the preparation of creamy cheese, ice creams, and other creamy dairy products.


Increasing Dairy Product Production with Kappa Gum Granules

Kappa gum granules when applied in low quantity obtain the capacity to prevent separation of milk proteins and forms into a good stabilizing agent as well. This property is applied in chocolate making.

List of Dairy Products Processed with Carrageenan for Supreme Productivity

Carrageenan gum powder is applied in processing dairy products such as cheese formation, chocolates, pudding, deserts, ice cream, etc. Application of this ingredient enhances the productivity as well. Most of the creamy type of dairy products can be prepared by adding kappa gum granules and it has also replaced the application of gelatin and other ingredients which were usually used for gelling. More information about other ingredients which were usually used for gelling, visit –  


Meat and dairy products are meant for fast usage, Carrageenan extracts stay very effective in processing these food products. It also keeps the life of the processed food up to certain time period. Hence, food industry depends on unadulterated kappa granules for safe productivity.

This Article has been written & posted by Ajit Patel.

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