Saturday, September 17, 2011
Hydrocolloids- Kappa Carrageenan
Kappa is one of the three Carrageenans extracted from red seaweed. The other two being Iota, and Lambda. Typical manufacturing of the raw seaweed produces a wide range of blends all with different properties. A lot of producers of this particular seaweed derived hydrocolloid follow a specific extraction process that involves cleaning, heated extraction, clarification, concentration, drying, grinding and blending to specific customer needs. After manufacturing you a left with a fine powder. Kappa Carrageenan like Iota forms a thermoreversible gel. (A gel that can be remelted after setting...usually by heating about 10 degrees above the gelling temperature.) It is important to note that Kappa pruduces strong and brittle gels in the presence of potassium. It can also form very creamy textures when used in conjuction with dairy products (milk, cream) in concentrations as low as .15%. Kappa shows a great deal of synergism with Locust Bean Gum, and Konjac Flour, both increasing the gels elasticity and strength. Another important note to consider when using Kappa is the fact that gels formed by using this hydrocolloid are very susceptable to syneresis. (syneresis-the separation or release of water in gels). One can combat syneresis in Kappa gels by using a combination of either LBG (Locust Bean Gum) or Konjac Flour. Kappa is a very versatile gelling agent that can be used in a variety of applications in the kitchen. It has the ability to form gels that set very quickly, which in turn can be remelted and set again. Kappa can also be used in conjuction with Iota and Lambda to create a wide variety of textures.