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Phylum : Rhodophyta
Class : Florideophyceae
Order : Gigartinales
Family : Gigartinaceae
Genus : Chondrus
Species Name : Chondrus crispus (Stackhouse)
Common name : Carrageen , carragheen , Irish Moss
Carrageen / Irish Moss growing along Irish shores
Carrageen / Irish Moss is one of the most widely used seaweeds throughout the world.
It is one of the seaweeds that you will have eaten - probably without knowing it!
It is E numbers E406,E407 and E407a - believe it or not!
It was given "E number" classification in the 1970s though the recent general movement has been away from E numbers, it is one of the "natural" E numbers - E400 to E420.
This seaweed is hand gathered around the shores of Ireland and left out in a sheltered spot to be "bleached" - this is the process of the red colour (the picture on the right) of this Irish Seaweed being removed from the seaweed by the sun and the rain. The repeated wetting and drying turn this Irish Seaweed to it's traditional golden brown colour - something similar to the picture on the left.
This bleaching means that when cooked, the gel that is produced by this Irish Moss / Carrageen is clear and colourless. This the vegetarian alternative to gelatine - a 100% natural setting agent.
- kappa - carrageenan; lambda - carrageenan.