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Carrageenan is a naturally occurring family of hydrophilic polysaccharides extracted from several related red seaweed species, widely used as a gelling agent for controlled drug release.
They are high molecular weight, highly sulfated, linear molecules with a galactose backbone. They are made up of sulfated and non-sulfated repeating units of galactose and 3,6-anhydrogalactose.


IFF's Gelcarin® and Viscarin® controlled-release polymers include three basic types of carrageenan – kappa, iota and lambda. They are differentiated from each other by the amount of 3,6-anhydrogalactose as well as the number and position of ester sulfate groups present. 


Available in several grades, Gelcarin® and Viscarin® help to achieve desired gelling, thickening and stabilizing properties in modified-release and suspension applications formulations – simply find the grade that’s best for you.

  • Generic and alternative names

    • hydrophilic polysaccharides
    • red seaweed extract
    • Irish moss
    • Chondrus extract
    • Seaweed flour
  • Claims / benefits / efficacy

    • Natural rate-modifying polymer family
    • Excellent gelling properties
    • Viscosity and rheology-modification properties
  • Function

    • gelling agent
    • muco-adhesive
    • rheology modifier
    • thickening
    • stabilizing
  • Application

    • Vegetable soft capsules
    • Controlled/Modified-release
    • Suspensions and solution
  • Shelf life

    24 months

  • Grades

    Trade Name

    Carrageenan type

    Gel type

    Gelcarin® GP-379NF


    Elastic gel

    Viscarin® GP-209NF





    Gelcarin® GP-812NF


    Brittle gel

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