Carrageenan, also called carrageenin, is an inhomogeneous watersoluble linear polysaccharide mainly extracted from the eucheuma, carrageen and hippuris varieties of red alga.

At present there are mainly four types of commercial carrageenan: Kappa carrageenan, Iota carrageenan, Lambda carrageenan and kappaⅡ carrageenan. Characterized by gel, thickening, stabilizing, film forming and emulsification, carrageenan can serve as gels, thickeners, stabilizers and suspending agents.  It has become one of the most widely applied hydrocolloids in the food field.

Carrageenans are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. Their main application is in dairy and meat products, due to their strong binding to food proteins. In recent years, carrageenans have emerged as a promising candidate in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications as they resemble native glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). They have been mainly used for tissue engineering, wound coverage, and drug delivery.

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