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Extraction of carrageenan Disclosure Number: IPCOM000246545D
Publication Date: 2016-Jun-16

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The Prior Art Database

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    Seaweeds have been traditionally used as gelling and thickening agents in food or pharmaceutical industries, but knowledge of their diverse bioactive compounds has opened up potential opportunities for these industries (Souza et al., 2012). Red, brown, and green seaweeds have been shown to have a plethora of therapeutic properties for health (e.g., Mohamed et al., 2012).

    Phycocolloids refer to those polysaccharides extracted from both freshwater and marine seaweed. Polysaccharides extracted from marine red, green and brown seaweed, such as alginates, fucoidan, furcellaran, ulvan, laminarin, carrageenans or derived oligosaccharides are of economic and commercial significance, since they exhibit high molecular weights, high viscosity, and excellent gelling, stabilizing, and emulsifying properties. They are also extracted in fairly high quantities from the seaweed. All these polysaccharides are water soluble and can be extracted with hot water or alkaline solution. Conventional methods for recovering phycocolloids from seaweed involve complicated chemical, mechanical and exudation extraction steps. These methods are disadvantageous since it requires a number of troublesome steps due to the high viscosity of phycocolloids and its salts, and particularly requires a step for removing impurities such as the outer skins from the seaweed and/or a step for decolorizing the highly viscous extract product of the seaweed.

    Carrageenan is typically extracted commercially from red seaweeds by boiling in aqueous solution, sometimes under alkaline conditions, followed by filtration, concentration, precipitation, and drying. Precipitation may either be by alcohol addition, or by gelling with salts followed by pressing. Alkali treatments allow some control over the ratio of carrageenan forms in the final product. However, it is often difficult to predict and obtain the desired final product.

    Therefore there exists a need for new processes to overcome the limitations of the conventional methods. The present disclosure provides means for extraction of carrageenan enzymatically.

    Commercially available carrageenans have different physical characteristics depending upon the seaweed species and the process of extraction. However, carrageenan produced by the traditional process has certain limitations such as low molecular weight, gel strength and salt content. There remains a continued need for development of carrageenan products having high molecular weight for use in marketable formulations for food, pharmaceutical, industrial and consumer applications.

Process for extraction of carrageenan from seaweed

The present disclosure relates to processes for extraction of carrageenan from seaweed.

    More particularly, the present disclosure relates to processes for extraction of carrageenan from seaweed comprising the steps: a) contacting the seaweed with a cellulase composition; and b) extracting the carrageenan. Further, the process c...