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What is Kappa Carrageenan?
Kappa carrageenan is another type of red seaweed extract taken specifically from Kappaphycus alvarezii. Like other types of carrageenan it is used as a gelling, thickening and stabilizing agent. When mixed with water kappa creates a strong and firm solid gel that may be brittle in texture.
This particular variety of carrageenan blends well with milk and other dairy products. Since it is taken from seaweed it is considered to be vegan and is an alternative to traditional gelling agents such as gelatin.
Kappa carrageenan is used in various cooking preparations including hot and cold gels, jelly toppings, cakes, breads and pastries.
When used in molecular gastronomy preparations and other dishes kappa carrageenan should be dissolved in cold liquid with concentrations ranging from 0.5% for soft gels to 2% for firm gels. The amount used will depend on the desired texture and result.
Once dispersed, the solution must be heated between 40°C / 104°F and 70°C / 158°F. Gelling will begin between 30°C / 86°F and 60°F / 140°F.
Kappa carrageenan is a thermoreversible gel and will stay stable up to 70°C / 158°F. Temperatures beyond this will cause the gel to melt and become liquid once again.