Iota Carrageenan

What is it? Iota Carrageenan is a gelling agent extracted from a type of seaweed also called Irish Moss. It is found off the coast of Ireland, close to the town of Carrageen from where it gets its name. Irish moss has been used for centuries to make a traditional milk pudding dessert.

What does it do? Iota Carrageenan creates a soft gel with an elastic consistency, much like a traditional egg custard. Unlike many other hydrocolloids, iota Carrageenan can be used for setting milk and cream based preparations making it ideal for cooking a vegetarian panna cotta.

The thickening power of iota Carrageenan is about five times greater in dairy based products than water based ones because the compound reacts with lactic acid.

How does it work? Iota Carrageenan is a hydrocolloid that works by controlling the structure of water molecules.

How do I use it? Iota Carrageenan should be used at a concentration of between 0.5-2% (by volume) of the liquid you wish to set. It should be stirred in cold then heated to above 80°C before cooling. It will begin to gel at around 60°C and is stable up to 65°C, above this temperature it will begin to melt.

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